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Family and friends mourn 14-year-old hit, killed while riding bike

14-year-old hit by car while riding bike to soccer practice
14-year-old hit by car while riding bike to soccer practice 02:14

NORTHFIELD, Minn. -- A Minnesota community is mourning the sudden loss of a 14-year-old girl and soccer standout.

A car hit and killed Melanie Valencia as she biked to soccer practice in Northfield last week. Memorials for the teenager sit at the intersection where she was hit while riding her bike to soccer practice.

"She was kind, loving, she would help people when they needed it," her parents said.


They say she wanted to become a professional soccer player, and one day, give back to her hardworking mom.

"Melanie's goal was to be somebody that makes enough money so she can buy her mom a house and so she could take care of her mom," Abraham Rosas said.

Her coach and teammates say Melanie was a natural leader, on and off the field.

"She will always cheer me up, she had a way with being positive," said one teammate.

"She was so good at motivating you for everything," said another.

"Her footwork was immaculate and just her presence on the field and her communication with her teammates it was next level stuff from the last time I'd seen her and coached her," her soccer coach Brent Kivell said.

Her parents want to see safety changes near the soccer fields, like a crosswalk, or signs. The location where she was hit is near the field where many families and youth walk and bike. During her funeral Sunday, hundreds of people showed up from all different communities. Her parents say it's a testament to her impact.  

"I cannot describe with words the feeling we had. It was a little relief of the pain to see how many people loved Melanie," Rosas said. 

Those who knew Melanie said they will always remember her for her smile.

Police say the driver of the car that hit Valencia is 18 and from Northfield. He is cooperating with investigators.

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