Vigil turns into memorial as struck girl dies

By Dick Berry - email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - What was supposed to be a vigil for an 8-year-old girl stuck by an SUV Thursday and injured turned into a memorial. Rebecca Wells died Saturday at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Rebecca was a second grader at Glenwood Elementary School.

Thursday night she was playing in a yard at the Village Green Trailer Park where she lived, darted onto Reitz Road and was hit by the SUV.

Authorities say the driver was not at fault.

Word of Rebecca's death spread through this tight-knit park.

"We're a little family here in this little place here," said Mary Krider, a park resident. "We all knew her."

Almost immediately the memorial to Rebecca along Reitz Road kept on growing and growing.

Neighbors have set up a fund to help the family with funeral costs. Anyone who wishes to donate can do so at any Charter One Bank under the Rebecca Wells fund.

"She'd always come down and pet my dog," said Joe Smith. "She's a sweetheart and it's just a tragedy."

Rebecca's friend Ashley Lavato brought out a pair of angels.

"Because she would brighten my day, everyday," said Ashley.

Eventually the large, emotional crowd spontaneously formed a big circle for prayers and long hugs. Everybody held a candle for Rebecca. The children blew bubbles in her honor.

And it's the children in the park who are trying to come to grips with Rebecca's death.

"She liked to blow bubbles every day almost," said Corey Stetter, Rebecca's friend. "I'm sad. She wouldn't make it in time for my birthday."

Rebecca was a little girl who obviously cast a large shadow over others during her short time on Earth.

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