COLLINSVILLE, IL - A community is grieving after a 14-year-old Maryville, Illinois girl is killed in a UTV accident near Glen Carbon.
Alexis Dimarco, who was an eighth-grader at Collinsville Middle School, lost her life in the tragedy.
Now specially trained staff will be on hand at the middle school tomorrow to help students and others cope with Alexis` death.
Many knew Alexis Dimarco as 'Lexi’.
A cousin, Stephanie Tomasewski, tells us that Lexi`s smile and laughter were contagious.
Stephanie also saying that Lexi`s heart was full of pure love and that she was an amazing human being.
The horrible crash happened Monday afternoon just after 3:30 p.m. in an area of rural Collinsville near North Bluff Road.
Authorities say Lexi and three other young girls were on a utility task vehicle, also known as a UTV or a side-by-side.
Investigators tell us the girls were riding the UTV on a levee when the vehicle slid and overturned onto its passenger side.
Investigators say Lexi and the UTV driver, who was also a juvenile, were thrown from the vehicle and Lexi wound up being pinned under it.
Lexi and the driver were rushed to the hospital, the two girls in the back seats weren`t hurt.
The driver survived but Lexi did not.
Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says Lexi died from blunt head and thoracic trauma.
Nonn tells us Lexi wasn`t wearing a helmet or a seat belt.
We spoke with Toni Geisen from KAHOKStrong.
That`s a civic group that helps families in need in the Collinsville School District.
Toni says her group is doing fundraising to help Lexi`s family.
Toni, who teaches at Collinsville High and has two kids in the district, is shaken by the tragedy.
“From a parental standpoint, it is every parent`s worst nightmare. No parent wants that phone call. So, you don`t have to know them to know those feelings or what that would be so we all just try to come together to support them,” said Toni Geisen.
The district superintendent Brad Skertich issued a statement reading in part, “On behalf of Collinsville Community School District #10, I am profoundly saddened by the loss of Alexis Dimarco, a student at Collinsville Middle School. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Alexis` family and friends during this difficult time.”
Skertich says the district`s help and response team will be at the school tomorrow to help students and faculty with the grieving process.
Everyone is also being encouraged to wear blue tomorrow because it was Lexi`s favorite color.
We have also confirmed that the two girls in the back seats of the UTV attend Triad Middle School and that all four girls played soccer together and were friends.
A Triad spokesperson says counselors will be on hand at Triad Middle tomorrow and that many at that school will be wearing blue tomorrow as well to honor and remember Lexi.