Wadena girl dies in ATV rollover accident
WADENA, Minn. – A 16-year-old Wadena girl died Monday night from severe head trauma suffered in an ATV rollover just south of town.
Christine Kaye Alberts was driving a Polaris Ranger southbound on Apache Avenue at about 20 miles per hour when she swerved toward the ditch, according Wadena County Sheriff Mike Carr. Alberts overcorrected, Carr said, causing the vehicle to rollover near the Cree Street intersection.
Alberts and her lone passenger, a 15-year-old Wadena girl, were ejected and the vehicle came to rest on its side in the middle of the road. Neither girl was wearing a seatbelt or helmet.
At 6:28 p.m., the passenger called 911 and the sheriff’s office responded with assistance from the Verndale and Wadena police departments.
An ambulance transported Alberts to TCHC, where she died from her injuries. The passenger was treated at TCHC for non-life threatening injuries.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the crash.
Alberts was a junior at Verndale Public Schools.
“It’s a rough one,” Principal Tom Riitters said Tuesday morning. “A lot of the kids are still in shock.”
Riitters delivered the grim news - already widely known due to social media - to the student body earlier in the day, and he welcomed students to the office for one-on-one grief counseling.
“We’re going through our normal day and we’re having the kids come down as needed,” Riitters said.
As news of her death spread late Monday night and Tuesday morning, friends and family expressed shock and sadness on Alberts’ Facebook page.
“No words...So devastated,” one wrote. “God received an amazingly beautiful angel today. We are so lucky to have known such a wonderful girl.”
A classmate posted: “I never really got to tell you how much you made my day every morning walking into first hour. Always giving me compliments. Never realize how fast someone's life can change. In a blink of an eye. Just wish you were here so I can I can return the favor and tell you how beautiful you are. I will always miss you. Hope you love your new home. Forever in our hearts.”