Law enforcement officers and community members are rallying together to help support the family of a Minnesota DNR conservation officer who was killed in a crash while on duty Monday.
Sarah Grell, 39, of Cohasset, was traveling in a Chevy Silverado northbound on County Road 336 when a semi-truck struck her vehicle on the driver-side door near the intersection of County Road 57 in Lawrence Township around 8:30 a.m. Monday, causing fatal injuries.
Grell, who is a mother of three kids - ages 13, 4 and 2 - had been a conservation officer since 2005. She'd followed in her family's footsteps as her uncle, father and grandfather all worked as conservation officers, while her husband works for the DNR's Forestry Division and her mother was employed by DNR Fisheries.
"Sarah was a daughter, sister, mother, wife, aunt and beloved friend. She will be missed each and every day," a Go Fund Me page set up for the family says.
The money raised through the Go Fund Me will go to help the Grell family with memorial expenses and the family's future needs.
As of Wednesday afternoon — a day after the fundraiser was created — it had raised more than $30,000 of the $35,000 goal, with many law enforcement groups contributing to the fund.
A visitation and funeral service for Grell is scheduled for Friday at the IRA Civic Center in Grand Rapids, her obituary says.
She's being remembered as someone who had a great love for the outdoors starting when she was young, wanting to grow up to be a conservation officer like her hero, her dad.
“The sense of loss we feel right now is indescribable,” DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen said in a statement. “We are heartbroken for her family. Our deepest sympathies and concerns are with them. Officer Grell leaves behind an incredible legacy of service to Minnesota’s people and natural resources.”
Grell graduated from Grand Rapids High School in 2000 and went to St. Cloud State University, where she got her criminal justice degree.
"Sarah was passionate about hunting, fishing, and camping. She was a great educator and loved to instill her knowledge and passion of the outdoors to others," her obituary says. "She loved to sing and was especially fond of jazz music. Sarah was strong in her faith and would testify to all that were around her."
The DNR has seen 23 conservation officers die in the line of duty since 1887.
The crash is being investigated by the Minnesota State Patrol.