'She loved to be around everybody,' says mom of NDSU student killed in crash
FARGO—A young woman killed in a crash on Interstate 94 near Valley City over the weekend was heading back to college here after spending Christmas break with her family in north central North Dakota.
Brooke Schroeder, 18, of Max, was a freshman at North Dakota State University, where she was studying agriculture education.
Her mother, Lynae Schroeder, said Brooke was class valedictorian, a dancer, a basketball player, and active in student council, band and FFA, or Future Farmers of America, at Max High School, from which she graduated in spring 2016.
"Everybody just loved being around her and she loved to be around everybody," Lynae Schroeder said.
Max is a town of around 300 people, located in McLean County, 30 miles south of Minot. Brooke's mother said the family doesn't have an agriculture background, but Brooke was drawn to it through school.
She chose to attend NDSU because she was familiar with the campus through FFA events, and because her brother Colton is a junior there. A younger sister, Alex, who's a high school senior in Max, has also planned to go to NDSU. Brooke was close to her family, her mother said.
KaDee Simensen, owner of Brick Studio in Minot, had Brooke and Alex in dance classes and competitions for years. She said Brooke was a hard worker and always a friend to anyone in class.
"A lot of girls she danced with are taking it pretty hard," Simensen said.
Simensen last saw Brooke over the holiday break, when she helped with a Christmas dance recital.
Brooke also loved kids. She spent last summer as a counselor at Camp Metigoshe near Bottineau, a Bible camp for children in elementary school and older.
She was killed when her car veered into a guardrail on an interstate overpass 8 miles west of Valley City, vaulted over the median and landed upside down, wedged under an overpass bridge deck around 5:15 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8.
Schroeder had to be extricated from the vehicle and was rushed to Mercy Hospital in Valley City, where she was pronounced dead from her injuries, according to Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
The Highway Patrol is still investigating the cause of the crash.
Niewind said there was blowing snow reported, but road conditions were dry and there were no other accidents in the area at the time.
He said the patrol has no idea why Brooke veered toward the median, and there were no witnesses in the vicinity to see what happened.
Niewind said investigators will consider fatigue, distractions and other factors, saying they haven't ruled anything out.
"We're trying to get to the bottom of it for the benefit of the family, but sometimes we don't always understand what happened and can't figure it out," Niewind said.
Brooke Schroeder is survived by her parents, Duane and Lynae Schroeder, brother Colton, sister Alex, and other family members. Funeral arrangements are pending with Thompson Funeral Home in Garrison.