As spring semester begins this week, one desk will stay empty.
Brooke Schroeder, a freshman majoring in agricultural education, died in a car crash Sunday near Valley City. She was traveling eastbound back to campus on Interstate 94.
Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol told The Forum that Schroeder’s 1999 Pontiac Bonneville swerved into a guardrail on an overpass at 5:17 p.m. The car then went over the median before ending up upside down on the bridge’s embankment.
According to the report, first responders from Valley City Rural Fire Department fought to free Schroeder from the wreckage. Barnes County Ambulance then took her to Mercy Hospital in Valley City.
While blowing snow was present at the time of the crash, road conditions were reported dry. The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.
Schroeder, a Max, North Dakota, native, was 18.
“The NDSU community is deeply saddened by the loss of our student,” NDSU administrators posted on the university’s Facebook account. “Our condolences go out to Brooke Schroeder’s family and friends. We are a tightly knit community and will experience the grief of this loss together.”
Schroeder’s friends at NDSU remember her as a driven young woman, zealous about God, agriculture and health.
“I met Brooke in late May at Camp Metigoshe,” Tara Troxel, a sophomore, said. “We were both counselors together.
“She would always be up early during the summer to go run at the crack of dawn. Whenever she had free time … she would be working out. She had a beautiful spirit and will be deeply missed by her camp family.”
Friends and family members took to social media to memorialize Schroeder’s life.
“Nothing anyone says or does can take away the pain,” Colton Schroeder, Brooke’s brother and a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, wrote on Facebook. “You were always right behind me in my footsteps growing up. There will always be a part of me missing.”
Funeral services are pending.