THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. - A family is struggling to come to grips with a tragic crash in Thief River Falls that claimed the lives of a young mom and her two little boys.

It was a routine day on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for 27-year-old Cassandra Flatland. She picked up her sons 4-year-old Hudson and 1-year-old Cooper from daycare.

But their ride came to a tragic end when her car collided with a pickup truck.

“You see all the stories about it but you never think it would happen to your own family,” Hudson and Cooper's Aunt Julia Jones said.

“A young mother with two precious boys, all at once becomes unbelievable,” Family friend Michael Hron said.

Now they are left with just memories and pictures.

“It's not real yet, we were all just talking to her, it's not real to think this happened,” Cassandra’s good friend Anna Robson said.

Cassandra being remembered for her outgoing and inspirational personality who knew how to crack a good joke at the right time, and that beautiful smile.  

“Cassandra is the type of person that has an infectious, positive attitude, her smile would like up a room, people just responded so well to that,” Hron said.

To her lifelong friends Emily and Anna say they were like sisters. 

“She’s one of those people you could have met yesterday, and she's your lifelong friend,” Cassandra’s good friend Emily Tangen said.

But Cassandra's proudest accomplishment in life was being a mother to her two little boys.

“They were so full of energy and life, getting into anything they could get into,” Hudson and Cooper Aunt Kimmy Burstad said.

Including grandpa's tool chest at Westside Motors.

“The oldest boy he always come and knew where his grandpa's stash of candy was,” Westside Motors employee Ira Johnson said.

A family and community still struggling with this unthinkable tragedy.

“I have a hard time remembering this is real,” Burstad said.

While the families of Cassandra and the boys said they can't thank the community enough for the love, support and prayers, they stress it is just as important to pray for the driver of the pickup.

The teenage boy will have to live with the tragedy forever as well. Westside Motors has set up a GoFundMe site to help with the funeral services for Cassandra and the boys.

If you’d like to donate, click here.