A community in Louisiana is collectively mourning the loss of a 6-year-old girl who died after being struck by a vehicle. The tragedy happened around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, when Emma Bell Savoie was heading home from school.
Authorities with the Slidell Police Department were called to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School after one of its students, Emma, was hit by a vehicle while she crossing a parking lot, reports WWLTV. She was immediately rushed to Slidell Memorial Hospital where the doctors pronounced her dead.
“The preliminary investigation indicates that during dismissal time, a group of school children were attempting to cross a parking lot,” revealed police in a press release. “For reasons still under investigation, a child accidentally ran out into the path of a truck, resulting in fatal injuries.”
On Thursday, Police Chief Randy Fandal held a press conference where he said that there’s currently “no indication that the driver of the truck was speeding or driving in any careless manner at all.” The identity of the driver has not been disclosed by authorities.
“It appears to be a tragic accident,” said Fandal. “For reasons I cannot understand, God decided that this was her time. Emma was taken way too early.” Police also noted that school staff and first responders “did everything they could to help Emma.” A GoFundMe page was set up for Emma, who “called herself a Princess” and “the rest of us called her an Angel.”
The fundraiser continued, “She was taken from us far too early, and her Mom, Dad, big brother & younger twin siblings could use some support over the coming weeks & months. They’re not asking for help. We are doing it on their behalf. So for those of you who are asking what you can do, a small donation will help.”
“Any donations will go to help pay for meals, help around the house, counseling, and all the other expenses which they’ll face as they try to cope with this terrible tragedy. And if all you can do is offer your prayers, those are welcome as well!” added the page that expressing the community’s wish to support the family during this devastating time.
“The loss of a child is unimaginable,” noted Chief Fandal according to The Kansas City Star. “My thoughts and prayers are with the family, the school, the first responders, and the entire Slidell community. This kind of tragedy affects us all.” Officers later noted that the accident happened in the presence of “several children” in the parking lot.
“Unfortunately there were young witnesses to the accident,” they noted. Thus, classes were canceled on Thursday and Friday “in an effort to care for our school community,” revealed Superintendent of Catholic schools Dr. RaeNell Houston, adding that crisis counselors have been made available.
Cover image source: GoFundMe | Emma Bell Savoie – The Princess Memorial Fund