What was supposed to be the start of a new milestone for a 9-year-old named Payton Crustner turned into a tragedy which claimed her life.
Payton was starting fourth grade so her family thought it would nice to take a photo of their girl holding a sign with the date and the message “1st Day of 4 Grade” written on it. Payton was all smile when she posed, not knowing that her life would end mere minutes later.
Tragically, this beautiful young lady didn’t reach the classroom as she and her family got involved in a deadly car crash on their way to school. While Payton’s mom, 32-year-old Miranda, was driving the car, 18-year-old Marcus Wayne Dukes, who was driving on the highway when he turned left and veered into oncoming traffic, collided with Miranda’s car. At the moment of the crash, Payton was thrown out of the vehicle and was declared dead at the scene.
The rest of the passengers, including Miranda and a 3-year-old girl whose identity hadn’t been revealed sustained minor injuries. Miranda’s son was in a critical condition but was eventually released from the hospital. He wasn’t wearing a seat belt nor was the 3-year-old.
Miranda had a seat belt on when the accident happened, and Payton had one as well, but hers was a lower belt which failed to keep her safely strapped in.
A member of the grieving family started a GoFundMe page to help them with the funeral expenses which helped raise almost $18,000.
“Payton Lynn Crustner, 9 years old, was taken from this world this morning before her first day of 4th grade, please keep this family in your prayers,” the post read.
We are so very sorry for this tragic loss that serves as a reminder of the importance of wearing a seat belt, which is probably the most important safety feature in a car.
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Love and Peace