FISHERS, Ind. — A candlelight vigil was held Friday for three Fishers teenagers killed in a crash in South Carolina on Aug. 16.
The vigil for 17-year-old twins Elleana and Isabella Gaddis and 18-year-old Brianna L. Foster was at the Hamilton Southeastern High School before the Royals' football game with Lawrence Central.
It was an emotional end to the school week for students at HSE. Hundreds of students and families gathered for the short vigil before Friday's football game.
“Elle and Belle were just a light in everybody’s life no matter if they knew them or not,” said Lucy DeWolf, an HSE senior. “That’s what everybody remembers about them, their laugh, it was so contagious.”
The Gaddis sisters were starting their senior year at HSE. Foster had graduated in the spring.
It’s a heartbreaking tragedy that’s brought together the whole Fishers community. Students from the high school’s “Blue Crew” organized the vigil.
“All three girls shined inside and out and to capture that, we decided to use candles to light up the night,” said Ally Elsbury, an HSE senior.
Hundreds of students placed those candles in front of a memorial for the three girls near the field.
“They are special girls. They are like lights and I want you guys to be careful and go on and be light for them,” said Andy Gaddis, the father of Elleana and Isabella.
Before the game, the school also held a moment of silence for the teens and the families took part in an honorary coin toss.
“It just shows how much we all can make a big school feel very small,” Elsbury said.
There will be a celebration of life for the teens at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater on Saturday. It is scheduled to run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Organizers are asking that people bring lawn chairs and wear something colorful in honor of the girls.
The teens were headed to South Carolina for a beach trip when police said their car was hit head-on by a Hummer going the wrong way on Interstate 26 near Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Melissa Parker faces seven felony counts for the crash and deaths of the three girls.
Police said Parker stole the Hummer from a gas station early Monday morning before going the wrong way on I-26. The owner of the Hummer flagged down police officers at a nearby Waffle House.
Police said the Hummer was going 79 mph when it struck the car.
The only survivor in the car, Maci Walts, said the teens were only ten minutes from their hotel when they were hit.
After the crash, police said Parker ran from the flipped Hummer and was found by deputies on the porch of a nearby house.
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