Update: In a sickening twist to this story, the Arizona Republic is now reporting that the driver that hit Matt’s car and killed Kelly was drunk. At 6:30 in the morning. He’s been charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault. And, this isn’t his first DUI conviction. I hope they throw away the key so this murderer can’t destroy another family.
In yesterday’s post on the Gilbert Days events, I mentioned that I was volunteering with my daughter’s band ”” the Highland High School Marching Band ”” to help them march in the parade.
Very early this morning we were loading up the buses to head to the parade, and we got the awful news that two of the band members, brother and sister Matt and Kelly Tracy, were involved in a car accident on the way to school.
Shortly before the band was scheduled to march, the band director gathered everyone together and delivered the news that Matt was going to be OK, but that Kelly, a sophomore, was in very critical condition and not expected to live.
Needless to say, the kids were devastated and the decision was made to cancel the march and head back to school.
What happened next was probably the most emotional thing I’ve ever experienced.
After arriving back at Highland, the kids gathered in the band room and the Highland High principal made the tragic announcement that Kelly had passed away.
Believe me when I tell you that you never want to be in a room with 150 kids when they find out a friend has just died. The emotion was overwhelming. The school did a great job, and had a grief counselor present. But it was an agonizing, gut-wrenching experience for all involved.
I simply don’t have the vocabulary to describe the scene and the grief that came spilling out over the next hour or so. We are so thankful that Matt will be OK. He was released from the hospital in time to join his Mom at the hospital Kelly was transported to. I don’t have all the details, but it’s believed that Kelly never regained consciousness before she passed.
As heartbreaking as it was to be there when the news was delivered, I am glad Francy and I were able to be there for our daughter and her friends. And of course our grief is nothing compared to what Matt and the Tracy family are going through. Our hearts and prayers go out to them and all that Kelly touched in her short life.
Rest in peace Kelly.
The mainstream media is starting to get the story.
Arizona Republic -Gilbert band member killed in crash on way to parade
East Valley Tribune – Gilbert student killed in crash on way to parade
ABC15 – Teen killed in crash on way to march in Gilbert parade
NBC12 – Gilbert band member killed in crash on way to parade