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9-Year-Old Killed Minutes After Posing For Picture On First Day Of School

LeAndria Starr/Facebook

As the end of the summer draws near, parents are getting ready to send their kids back to school.

Education is an essential part of any child's upbringing, and there's nothing better than sitting around the dinner table and hearing them discuss what they learned.

Sadly, while one family from East Texas could have attested to this, they are now grieving the death of their nine-year-old daughter.

Ten minutes after Payton Crustner took a picture commemorating her first day of fourth grade, she tragically passed away in a two-vehicle collision.

State Troopers reported that on August 28, Marcus Wayne Dukes, 18, was driving northbound on FM-225 when he turned left to oncoming traffic and smashed into Miranda Michelle Clark, 32, and her three passengers, Payton, her 16-year-old brother, and an unnamed three-year-old.

Marcus Dukes
Marcus Wayne DukesMarcus Dukes/Facebook

According to Longview’s KYTX-TV, Payton was ejected from a car after it collided with the pickup truck, and died at the scene.

Authorities said Clark has been wearing a seat belt, but Payton only had the bottom portion of her belt on.

Dukes, Payton's brother, and the unidentified three-year-old were not wearing seat belts at all.

They were all transported to the Christus Trinity Mother Frances-Tyler hospital, where Payton's brother remains in critical condition.

Luckily, the three others have since been released.

A friend of the family has set up Facebook fundraiser page for the elementary school student, with all donations going towards funeral expenses and her brother's recovery.

"Payton was taken from this world this morning before her first day of 4th grade," a statement on the social media site said.

As of August 31, nearly $15,000 has been raised.

[H/T: Fox News, KTBS, KYTX-TV]

Our thoughts and prayers are with Peyton's family during this difficult time.

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