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Widow testifies in jury trial

"You lose your best friend and you lose the father of your children. You lose that comfort, that support."

Those were the words of a Lake Park widow who lost her husband, Christopher Carlson, in an ATV accident in August of 2008.

Heidi Carlson's tearful testimony in a criminal vehicular homicide jury trial Thursday was more about the kind of person Carlson was, not how or why the accident happened.

"The first year, you wake up and you get through the day," she said, her voice shaking, tears running down her cheeks. "And you're waiting for him to come walking through the door.

"The second year, the reality has hit and he's not coming home. And that's how it's going to be."

The trial involving Jeremy Nelson, of Lake Park, who was allegedly driving a Chevy Silverado pickup truck at a high speed before striking ATV driver Christopher Carlson on County Road 1 south of Lake Park, continued for the fourth day Thursday.

During her testimony, Heidi Carlson said her last conversation with her husband was "short and sweet."

She was in the Twin Cities for a conference the weekend he died. She spoke with him for the last time Friday, Aug. 15 and received the terrifying news Sunday, Aug. 17.

She said the two of them had started planning to build a house. They had the blueprints ready and cost estimates of some of the materials they were going to use.

"He was a very hard worker. Very good friend," she said. "His number one love was spending time with his kids."

His children, twins Noah and Gabrielle, are now 7 years old.

Heidi Carlson was one of a number of witnesses called to testify by Clay County Attorney Brian Melton. The trial will resume Monday in Becker County District Court.

See Sunday's Becker County Record for more details on the trial.