Who knew that such a happy day could go south so fast?
We all know that the end of summer is already upon us, and with the realization of this fact comes the increased preparation by parents all over the country to send their kids back for another year of school.
Education is an integral part of the upbringing of any child, and as a parent, there are only a few things that bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction as having your family sit around a dinner table and listening on as your children tell you about some of the things that they were able to learn in school that day.
Sadly though, while this is one feeling that one family from East Texas was once able to relate with, these people have been left in a state of trauma after their nine year old daughter recently passed away.
Payton Crustner went to school on a normal day, and she even took a picture that commemorated her first official day as a pupil in the fourth grade. However, just a mere ten minutes after this picture was taken, she lost her life due to being caught in the crosshairs of a collision involving two vehicles.
According to a report by State Troopers on the 28th of August, a man named Marcus Wayne Dukes, who was 18 years of age, was driving on his way North on FM-225 when he made a leftward turn to the oncoming traffic and smashed right into another car. The car he smashed into was being driven by Miranda Michelle Clark, a 32 year old woman, and it contained her three passengers. The passengers were Payton (who passed away), her 16 year older brother, and a three year old whose name could not be verified.
According to a report also by Longview’s KYTX-TV, Paton was ejected from the car after it collided with the pickup truck being driven by Marcus Dukes, and the little girl died immediately at the scene of the accident.
Authorities stated that while Clark had her seatbelt on, all Payton had on her was the bottom portion of her own seatbelt.
On the other hand, Dukes, Payton’s elder brother and the unidentified three-year-old were not putting on their own seat belts at all.
Every single person that was involved in the collision was immediately taken to the Christus Trinity Mother Frances-Tyler hospital and although Payton had died at the scene, her brother remains there in critical condition.
Luckily though, Dukes, Clark and the unnamed three year old have already been cleared by the medical staff and released from the hospital.
A close friend of the family has set up a fundraising page on Facebook for the recently deceased elementary school student, and all donations are to go towards the funeral expenses as well as the ongoing efforts to ensure the recovery of her brother (who, as stated earlier, remains in critical condition).
A statement was released on the social media site which announced Payton’s death, and it read, “Little Payton was taken from this world and her family in the early hours of this morning before her first day as a student of the fourth grade”.
As of the 31st of August, well over $15,000 had been put into the fundraising page.