WAYNE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Students in Wayne are paying respects to two young people who died in a crash.
The crash Sunday on Highway 111 in Van Buren County, Tennessee took the lives of 11-year-old Ivan Fransisco-Mateo, his 17-year-old sister Emily Francisco Mateo, and their mother. The crash also seriously injured other relatives.
Both kids attended Wayne County Schools. On Friday, students released balloons to help honor the friends they lost. The first memorial took place on Friday morning at Monticello Elementary, where Ivan Francisco-Mateo attended.
“I got to know him this year. He was always happy and smiling to all,” Jill Frogge who works at the school said. "We had all of our 5th-grade students participate in the balloon release. We chose green and yellow balloons. One of Ivan's teachers, Mrs. Rains, said that green was his favorite color and yellow is for friendship."
Emily Francisco-Mateo attended Wayne County High School; students there released balloons after a short ceremony on Friday afternoon.
“She truly had her life in order. She had her priorities straight. She told me once, told me 100 times Jesus was the most important to her,” said Wayne Co. High School Librarian Carol Ford.
The school community is coming together to help the family members who survived the crash.
“Our concern now is our student body, is for Leslie who graduated last year, younger brother Christian who is a Freshman, still concerned about those two,” said Justin Alley.
Both schools are collecting donations to help pay for the funerals of the students which will take place at a later date.