A Bledsoe County community is remembering the life of an 8-year-old who died from injuries he sustained in a weather-related wreck.

Officials with Tennessee Highway Patrol tell us it happened Tuesday morning on State Highway 101 in Cumberland County.

We're told high winds and heavy rainfall caused a tree limb to fall across the car Donald “Elex” Simmons was riding in. His obituary shows he died the next day.

Students at Wheeler Elementary School returned from Fall Break Monday, but without one of their classmates.

“I love you, Elex. In a friend way…” One student writes.

Principal Candi Kempton has been an educator for 16 years.

“I liked his voice. I liked the way he talked fast,” another student writes.

She and other teachers spent the day remembering 2nd grader Elex Simmons.

“We've just tried to be honest with them. I didn't want them to hear a lot of rumors, and just talk to them and let them ask the questions they needed to ask,” she said.

As students made cards to show Elex's family how the 8-year-old touched their lives, educators also spent the day grieving.

Kempton described it as losing one of her own.

“There has been a sadness over this building today. And there has been a sadness in our hearts over the last four days. Since all of this started happening,” she added.

A few miles away, tree limbs litter both sides of the road where the accident happened.

It serves as a small reminder of a big personality taken too soon.

“He was a happy child. He smiled a lot. And he had beautiful, beautiful eyes,” she said.

Funeral arrangements for Elex Simmons will be held Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. at Pikeville Funeral Home.