Girl, 9, killed in car wreck moments after posing for first-day-of-school photo, reports say

A 9-year-old girl from East Texas was killed in a car crash this week just minutes after posing for a photo before her first day of fourth grade, reports said.

Payton Lynn Crustner was ejected from a car when it collided with another vehicle that had turned into oncoming traffic, and died at the scene, Longview’s KYTX-TV reported. The photo was taken 10 minutes before the crash, according to Houston’s KHOU-TV.

“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,” reads a statement on a Facebook fundraiser page for the family.

The three other victims in Crustner’s vehicle included her 16-year-old brother, an unidentified 3-year-old passenger, and 32-year-old Miranda Clark, who was driving the 2017 Nissan Sentra, KYTX-TV reported.

Clark was wearing a seatbelt while Crustner had only the bottom portion of her belt secured, according to East Texas Matters. Her 16-year-old brother and the 3-year-old were not wearing seatbelts.

KHOU reported that Crustner’s brother remained hospitalized in critical condition while Clark and the 3-year-old had been released.

“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."

— statement on Facebook

Police identified the driver of the pickup truck that collided with Clark’s car as 18-year-old Marcus Wayne Dukes, who was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt. He was also taken to a hospital and later released.

Police were investigating the crash.

As of Friday morning, the fundraiser had raised more than $12,000, exceeding its $10,000 goal.