Two schools struggle with emotions after fatal car accident - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Two schools struggle with emotions after fatal car accident

An 11 year old girl was struck and killed while walking home, just before 8:00 pm last night on FM 747, just west of Jacksonville. That's where authorities say Cheyenne Stevenson, a Jacksonville 6th grader, was hit in the middle of the road by a 17-year old driver. KLTV 7's Layron Livingston was in Jacksonville today, where two campuses are now forced to deal with this tragedy on different levels.

"Cute little smile, always ready to go, beautiful blue eyes."

Nichols Intermediate School counselor Diane Knowles remembers Cheyenne Stevenson as motivated student, with tons of potential.

"Cheyenne loved horses, loved her little pink boots," said Knowles.

And she loved playing her french horn in the band, learning one her favorite tunes, Mary Had A Little Lamb - fitting for the little girl who loved animals.

Principal Tammy Jones says she was just sitting next to Cheyenne in class yesterday.

"She was a sweet, sweet student," said Jones.

She says, right now, the focus is helping students and faculty deal with the situation.

"We've got wonderful counselors in our district who have come to assist us, and so we've got that support system in place for our students, and we will for the weeks to come," said Jones.

Flowers have been placed on the side of the road where little Cheyenne was hit. DPS spray-paint freshly maps out the incident. The driver was a Jacksonville High School senior.

"He's just trying to deal with his own emotions and his own feelings," said Lisa Mehlenbacher, a counselor at the high school.  

Mehlenbacher says she's spoken with the student and his family. She says right now, he's still in disbelief, with his mind on Cheyenne's family.

"We want him to be able to deal with this situation so that he doesn't carry this burden inside through the years," said Mehlenbacher.

"We're going to miss her a lot. She was a great kid," said Jones.

Authorities tell us Cheyenne's death does appear to be an accident, and the driver has not been arrested or charged with anything.

She would have turned 12 years old next Wednesday. Her funeral services have not been set.

Layron Livingston, reporting.

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