(KARK) As students get ready to head back to school Monday, one central Arkansas district is grappling with a heartbreaking loss.
The Harmony Grove School District in Benton, Ark., held a vigil Sunday night for 16-year-old Olivia Brewington, who died in a car crash over the weekend.
State Police say the teen was traveling on Interstate 30 in Saline County Saturday afternoon when her Jeep went off the road and hit a support pillar at the Military Road overpass.
According to State Police, the teen was the only one in the vehicle, the cause of the crash is under investigation.
A small memorial sits next to the overpass, the spot where Austin Bull went Sunday to pay his respects to his high school friend.
“I wanted to see it for myself, say a prayer for everybody who was close and dear to her,” Bull said.
Monday was supposed to be Olivia’s first day as a junior at Harmony Grove High School. Instead, Superintendent Heath Bennett says grief counselors will be on hand, with Olivia’s loss weighing heavy on the small town already reeling from the loss of another student. Three weeks ago a 15-year-old boy died playing Russian roulette.
“It’s just a horrific tragedy,” Bennett said. “We’re trying to get everybody to come together and pray for each other and do everything we can to get through.”
Bennett says the first day of school will go on as scheduled, but extra counselors from neighboring school districts will be available for both students and staff.
Friends like Bull say he’s finding comfort in the legacy Olivia leaves behind.
“Everybody around her, she always put a smile on their face, always bringing them up,” he said.