OTTER TAIL COUNTY, Minn. — Authorities have identified the pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run collision over the weekend near the town of Ottertail.
Tyler Wohlers, 21, from Wahpeton, N.D., was killed in the collision, according to the Minnesota State Patrol, which is asking for the public's help in finding the driver and vehicle involved.
Around 1 a.m. Saturday, July 6, Wohlers and two other men were walking on the northbound shoulder of Highway 78 headed south.
Wohlers tripped and fell into the northbound traffic lane and was fatally hit by a passing car, which then drove away.
The two other men told authorities the vehicle was a smaller sedan, similar to a Chevrolet Cavalier. The car could be a white or silver color; however, it was dark and there were no streetlights in the area. The vehicle will have front end damage and a fluid leak.
The patrol is asking anyone with information about the vehicle or driver to call Sgt. Rod Eischens at 218-846-8244.
Meanwhile, those who knew Wohlers are mourning the young athlete, who was known as a "hard worker."
"He was not incredibly outspoken, but he was a leader by example," said Wade Gilbertson, who was his coach at Wahpeton High School. Gilbertson said it took his breath away and doubled him over in pain when he heard what happened. "I love the kid. It was a joy to coach him."
Brian Dokken also coached Wohlers, who came out every day with a great attitude and a work ethic that was hard to match.
"You don't know how to respond or react to it. It's disbelief and it's instant sorrow for the people involved," Dokken said.
Madison Nelson-Gira, a childhood friend who grew up with Wohlers in Wahpeton, said he was a funny guy who was easy to get along with.
"Tyler was the guy who no matter if you knew him for 15 years or 15 minutes, he was always going to be nice to you," said Nelson-Gira, who hugged his old friend the last time he saw him a couple of months ago. "I'm really happy with the time I had with him."
Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story stated Wohlers was an NDSCS athlete. Wohlers was an athlete at Wahpeton High School, where Gilbertson and Dokken were his coaches.