Friend remembers Park City crash victim as a ‘no-excuses woman’
While Amanda ‘Mandy’ Streit and Kristen Schaub Lindahl were in college and involved with their sororities, they would take skiing trips all over the western United States. Most of the time they were following Streit’s brother, Tavener, as he competed with the University of Nevada at Reno’s Nordic ski team.
Streit eventually moved to Squaw Valley, in Lake Tahoe, and spent several years there with her brother.
"We basically, throughout our whole 20s, just skied," Lindahl said. "We were ski bums. We were living the dream."
Monday night, Streit, 39, of Park City, was killed when her Saturn Vue was struck head-on by a vehicle traveling the wrong way along Interstate 80.
Two days after the accident, Lindahl traveled to Park City from Texas to gather with Streit’s family and come to terms with how one drive took an "optimistic, not-just-athletic, but no-excuses" woman from a community of family and friends that loved her.
"I think all of us in the family have come at it from different perspectives," Lindahl said. "It comes and goes in waves. The general feel, though, is that so far we have all just been so focused on Mandy that, at least on our end, we are a little removed from the accident."
The driver who caused the crash was charged this week with automobile homicide.
"Part of my anger is actually I just feel terrible for Mandy’s mom, who is like a second mom to me," Lindahl said through tears. "As a mom I can’t think of anything worse. And Marty (Martha Harward) is just handling it incredibly gracefully."
‘A little inseparable unit’
Lindahl met Streit in fourth grade during P.E. class at Parley’s Park Elementary School. The two had to sit out because Lindahl had a broken arm and Streit had a tumor in her ankle that had required several painful operations.
"From the moment we met we were best friends," Lindahl said. "We both loved to go skiing with our parents and we basically we grew up living on the resort."
Lindahl said the two were extremely close because of Streit’s hearing impairment and her shyness.
"I don’t know what it was. I was a little shy and she made me talk on our behalf. We were just kind of this little inseparable unit for years," she said.
The pair attended Park City High School together, played softball and participated in Girl Scouts. Streit also ran track and cross-country. She graduated in 1995 and in 1999 from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences.
Making an impact
Streit worked at World Market for a short time before becoming involved with the National Ability Center and most recently, Chrysalis, working with adults with disabilities.
"I think that is why she was really motivating to a lot of people because she walked the walk and was engaged in life," Lindahl said. "We were all really proud because she was really fulfilled working with all her clients. She has always loved Park City and to help other people engage in their community."
‘A really good couple of weeks’
Two weeks before the accident, Lindahl was in town visiting from Texas and they went skiing at Alta Ski Resort. Streit then went to Lake Tahoe to visit her brother, his wife, Cara, their two kids, her dad and extended family members. She returned last week.
"She just had two of the best ski days of her life at Bluebird and then got dumped on in Tahoe," Lindahl said. "She had a really good final two weeks of seeing everyone she loved and skiing in a ton of beautiful weather."
In the last few days, Lindahl said she has not slept and keeps going through old text and Facebook messages the two shared, adding that the longest they had ever gone without talking was 24 days. (Streit was the godmother of Lindahl’s son, Otto.)
"For me, a part of this week was grieving the loss of Mandy and sort of the end of our childhood and mourning the way Park City used to be because it has just changed so much and she is not here.
"I think for me, and a lot of her family would agree, that our strategy to work through this is to keep doing the stuff that Mandy loved to do. To ski, bike, hike and be in the outdoors and really try to perform that selflessness and service that came so naturally to her, for others."
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