Bayfield Area Mourns Loss of Toddler
Posted at: 07/24/2012 6:37 PM
| Updated at: 07/25/2012 6:57 PM
By: Katey Rusch
A Bayfield County community is mourning after a two-year-old girl dies after the SUV her mother was driving flipped into a field. The three other passengers, all children, remain in either serious or critical condition at a Duluth hospital.
"You never know what's going to happen in this life," said Tara Pratt, a classmate of the mother and teacher her three children.
A toy car, a key, and pieces of 23-year-old Chelsea Cadotte's Chevy Blazer line the side of Highway 13 one day after her SUV flipped into this field ejecting all four unseat-belted passengers.
"It's hard to cope with what happened," said Pratt.
The victims are children including, Cadotte's 15-year-old sister, Erica Gonzalez and Cadotte's three children, 6-year-old Carter, 4-year-old Miley and 2-year-old Mariah.
"I found out who it was and I was pretty much sick to my stomach all day long," said Pratt.
That sick feeling that got worse as Tara Pratt found out the littlest, Mariah, died from her injuries.
"Mariah always had a smile on her face that little girl," said Pratt.
Pratt played with Mariah many times as her pre-school teacher.
"She was an individual that no matter how bad your day was that little smile that you saw was very inspirational," said Pratt.
Pratt who graduated from Bayfield High School with Cadotte remembers her as a great mom. Now the community will extend Cadotte the same generosity she gave to her kids.
"We'll try to do what we can to keep her mind in the right way to be able to get by each day and everyday with her two other children around her," said Pratt.
Big Water Cafe in Bayfield is accepting donations for the family because Cadotte's brother works there.
Updates on conditions as of Wednesday night:
Miley, the 4-year-old, remains in critical condition. Carter, Erica, Chelsea are in fair condition.