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By Jason Adkins, Forum Communications Co., Published January 14 2010

Mom: Daughter killed in crash had no regrets

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – A Christmas letter Amanda Bergstrom wrote to family and friends paints a picture of someone at peace with herself no matter what may lie ahead.

“I know that if I die tomorrow and get to take my ride on angel’s wings, I will do it with style and with no regrets,” Bergstrom’s letter said.

That future lasted only a few weeks as the 30-year-old native of Becker County died in a snowmobile accident Jan. 3 northeast of Detroit Lakes.

Her mom, Cheryl Kohler, and aunt, Sharon King, were fighting back tears, but also sharing laughs when they recently opened up about Bergstrom.

“She just prepared us all,” King said.

They said that Bergstrom spent the past several weeks spending special weekends with her family doing various things together.

“We went to the zoo, the Twins game and so many different things,” Kohler said.

“She just wanted one more day with us,” King said. “That was just her thing.”

Bergstrom recently was laid off from her job as an electrician, which gave her time to visit home.

“She was so excited about Christmas,” Kohler said. “She came and helped me decorate and bake. We got to spend the whole month together. It was like a godsend.”

Kohler said Bergstrom was willing to get dirty to help people, helping fix up her mother’s 30-year-old home.

One of Bergstrom’s last projects was to tile the bathroom on New Year’s Day.

“She was here,” Kohler said. “She did everything from A to Z.”

Her stepfather Tim Kohler, who was like a biological father, King said, recently broke his leg and Bergstrom helped him.

“She was called one night at 10 p.m. when the cows got out,” King said. “She went out and fixed the fence.”

Kohler said her daughter was a tomboy just like her.

“She could do anything,” she said, adding that her work ethic was outstanding.

When Bergstrom was 17 years old, she moved to the Twin Cities to help her friend, Bethany Mattson. Mattson was paralyzed from the chest down and lost an arm in a motorcycle accident more than 15 years ago.

“We’ll miss her tremendously,” Kohler said.


Jason Adkins is a reporter for the Detroit Lakes (Minn.) Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.