UPDATE: Family and friends mourn loss of young girl in I-75 crash
UPDATE: Fun, outgoing, and cheerful are words family and friends use to describe Makenzie Biddwell.
The 11-year-old was killed in a car crash on Interstate-75 in Bradley County, Tuesday. Makenzie was in her dad's pick-up truck when it hit the back of an 18-wheeler. Her father's physical injuries are minor but the emotional loss cannot be measured. The last 24-hours have been absolutely devastating for the Biddwell family and friends. Loved ones say they are taking it one step at a time.
"Makenzie, the only way I can describe her is joyful, cheerful ...anytime she was around you always knew she was around," said Clifton Biddwell,. "She always had a smile on her face and she would always say something to make somebody else laugh."
Big brother Clifton Biddwell remembers his younger sister as a sweet girl who had just finished Stuart Elementary, looking forward to middle school.
"She was a precious little girl," said Beth Freeman. "She got to swim with my 11-year-old daughter Sarah and she was just exuberant, full of life."
Beth Freeman knows what it's like to lose a child, her 15-year-old son Joseph died suddenly 4-years ago.
"I had him that Friday night, Saturday he was gone and you're not prepared for that," said Freeman.
Remembering how the community helped pay for his funeral, Makenzie's friends had an idea to pay that generosity forward.
"They did it for me and our family and I understand. I get it, they need help right now and we're going to make it somehow," said Freeman."I don't have the money to do it but I will make sure I help in other ways."
The Freemans have set up a "Go Fund Me" account for Makenzie's family. It's raised more than $1,000 dollars. The goal is $10,000 dollars. They say Makenzie's family needs help getting all of the stressful things no parent ever thinks about until tragedy.
"I don't know the details, but this baby needs an outfit from Justice in a size 12, I've not even been able to get to the mall, but that baby needs an outfit," said Freeman. " They need help, they need to be able to bury this baby and not have any stress over it," said Freeman. "My son had a tattoo on his back of Jesus and a cross and it had Philippians 4:13: 'I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength' and we have that on his grave. I know the people of Cleveland can step up and take care of this family."
If you would like to help Makenzie's family with funeral costs here is the link to the "Go Fund Me" page set up by the Freeman family:
You can also make a donation at any Regions Bank under the "Mackenzie Biddwell Memorial Foundation"
A candlelight vigil for Makenzie will be held 8:30 Thursday night at Stuart Elementary School.
UPDATE: An 11-year-old girl was killed when the pick-up truck she was riding in collided with an 18-wheeler.
Makenzie Biddwell's father was driving south on Interstate 75. The accident happened near mile marker 22. He suffered minor injuries in the crash.
Tuesday night, friends and family gathered at the family's church, Rivers of Living Water Ministries, where the congregation turned out to mourn, support her family, and thank God for her life.