Too early passing
Derek Megraw was at home and was getting ready to go bed when he received a text message: His friend Cory Allhiser was in the hospital and wasn't expected to live through the night.
By the time Megraw got from Lyle to Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester, Allhiser had died.
Allhiser's sister-in-law, Nicole Green-Davis, was at a Super Bowl party when her sister Crista called, asking if Green-Davis could watch their son. She was also on her way up to Saint Marys Hospital later that evening.
"Nobody got to see him," said Green-Davis. "We didn't get a chance to say good-bye."
Allhiser grew up in between Rochester and Austin. He was the head executive chef for D'Amico and Sons, a group of Italian restaurants based in Minneapolis, before he took a job in the shipping department at Hormel Foods Corp.
Green-Davis said her brother-in-law was a man of many hobbies, who took his son fishing and skating, and was a terrific cook. Allhiser rode his snowmobile regularly and even bought a kid-size sled for his son, she said.
He was riding his sled with friends on the night of Feb. 7 when he crashed into an unmarked drainage ditch, falling 25 feet and losing his helmet before his snowmobile landed on him.
Amber Green thinks Allhiser was the last one in the group and probably had snow blowing in his face, limiting his vision. His friends turned around after they realized Allhiser's lights disappeared. They called 911 after they found him and the dispatcher had to use the cell phone signal to find their location. Allhiser died at Saint Mary Hospital in Rochester the following morning, a month before his 33rd birthday.
Green-Davis was one of the last people to see Allhiser that day, as he dropped his son off at her house before going off on the snowmobile ride.
Cory's passing left Crista with a house and two cars to pay for, and two children who no longer have a father. That's why Megraw and about 25 of Allhiser's friends are getting together Feb. 20 to have a snowmobile ride. By doing so, they hope to raise money and honor their friend, Megraw said.
"He was killed on a snowmobile, but it was what he loved to do," he said.
Green-Davis said 561 invitations for the ride were sent out through Facebook. So far, many of Allhiser's friends and co-workers have signed on to participate. They are hoping the effort raises $7,500 — half the cost of Cory's funeral — and that it becomes an annual event.
When it gets rolling on Feb. 20, the group will follow Allhiser's regular snowmobile route — all 81 miles of it, from Austin to Hayward to Albert Lea to Geneva to Brownsdale and then finally to Lyle, where the evening will end with a dinner and an auction.