Nearly one year after his death, a Wahpeton man is being remembered with a public safety fundraiser.
Donations for the “Tyler Scott Wohlers Memorial Path” will be accepted through GoFundMe beginning Thursday, June 18. Wohlers’ family and friends have a goal of $75,000 for the project, which would be constructed along Highway 78 between Battle Lake and Ottertail.
Wohlers, 21, was fatally struck by a car in an early morning hit and run along the highway on July 6, 2019. He had been walking home after a night with friends.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported that Wohlers tripped and fell into the northbound traffic lane. A vehicle, which witnesses said was a smaller, white or silver-colored sedan, was traveling northbound. The vehicle hit Wohlers and continued traveling without stopping.
“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Connor Tschakert said. “We’re building this for people in Ottertail and people who visit Ottertail to have a safe place to walk from the city to the public access road.”
Tschakert, in addition to organizing the drive, was also one of Wohlers’ classmates.
“I went to school with him from the first grade. We played hockey. He was my best friend,” Tschakert said.
Prior to his death, Wohlers attended St. John’s School, Wahpeton middle and high schools and North Dakota State College of Science. The oldest of four children, Wohlers studied agriculture and enjoyed hunting and fishing.
“He loved all sports,” his obituary stated. “He excelled in football, but was most passionate about hockey.”
No parent, sibling, family member, friend or teammate should have to experience such a tragedy, supporters of the Wohlers walkway say.
“Tyler was a light to all he came into contact with due to his kind demeanor and contagious smile,” fundraiser organizers wrote. “He was a loving child, grandchild and nephew; a proud and caring older brother; a funny, supportive and honest friend.”
Wohlers knew the true meaning of friendship, his loved ones stated. Anyone who had the chance to be his friend is forever impacted and they were all so lucky to have such a light in their lives.
The walkway project will be along Highway 78 on the west side, from the intersection to the Pelican Bay public water access on Otter Tail Lake.
Wohlers’ trail has been approved by the city of Ottertail and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. His loved ones say Ottertail is a great location for travelers, vacationers and those who call it home.
“We need your help to make this happen and we can’t do it without you,” they wrote.