9 YO Dies 10 Minutes After Posing With Note, Then Police Spot Tragic Mistake

As summer comes to an end, parents across the country are preparing their children for a new school year. For the Crustner family, however, this exciting time ended in tragedy. Nine-year-old Payton Crustner had just posed for a photo on her first day of fourth grade when a devastating car accident occurred, ending her life before she even made it to the classroom.

The accident was caused by 18-year-old Marcus Wayne Dukes, who turned left and veered into oncoming traffic, colliding with the car being driven by 32-year-old Miranda Michelle Clark. Payton was in the back seat with her 16-year-old brother and an unidentified 3-year-old. During the accident, Payton was thrown out of the car and tragically declared dead at the scene.

Miranda was wearing a seat belt, but Payton only had a lower belt on, which failed to keep her safely strapped in. Payton’s brother and the unidentified 3-year-old were also not wearing seat belts. Payton’s brother remains in critical condition, but fortunately, the other three involved left the hospital with minor injuries.

A family member started a collection on Facebook to help pay for Payton’s funeral expenses and her brother’s treatment, raising almost $18,000 thus far. The heartbreaking incident serves as a reminder of the importance of wearing seat belts in the car, as they can be the most important safety feature. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Payton’s family during this difficult time.

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