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Forgiving Clears Way For Healing

Star Tribune, by Pamela MillerJune 03, 2006

Star Tribune, by Pamela Miller

Angela Mathison and Sari Evanston first crossed paths in the worst possible way.

On Dec. 4, 2004, Mathison, then 33, her husband, Brent, 37, and their 10-week-old daughter, Annika, were traveling north on Hwy. 169 in Sherburne County to their home in Elk River when a yellow car barreled across the median and hit their pickup head-on.

"I remember seeing this flash of yellow, and Brent reaching out to put his hand in front of me," Angela Mathison said.

There was the terrible sound of metal meeting metal at high speed, of crunching and shattering, then silence. And then sirens.

Brent slumped in the driver's seat, dead. Angela's knees and legs were shattered and punctured, her face burned by friction from the air bag. Annika, their only child, had severe head injuries despite being secured carefully in the rear seat.

In the yellow car, Sari Evanston, then 17, lay in shock, bones in her feet and ankles broken, ligaments torn. But the pain of her injuries was nothing compared with that in her heart. The crash was her fault. She had been going 78 miles per hour in a 65-mph zone. She doesn't remember why.

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