By Stephen Sorace, ,
Published August 31, 2018
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."
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.