A pall fell over Sandstone Middle School Monday with the news that a seventh-grader, 12-year-old Leonela Moreno-Calderon, died Saturday from injuries suffered in a car wreck.
Throughout the day, students gathered in a room to cry and talk about Leonela, who they remembered as confident, athletic and blessed with a great sense of humor.
The thing they said over and over again was that she was a really good friend because she did what was right, regardless, said Patti Monaco, a member of the crisis intervention flight team. That says a lot about a kid this age.
Leonelas friends filled posters with messages surrounding a picture of her smiling face and wrote her letters on colored construction paper.
I will always remember the funny, crazy girl you were, one wrote on a poster. I will always love you!
At least 100 students filtered through the safe room throughout the day. They formed circles to pray and talk, Monaco said.
You dont see that every time, she said. They were very kind to each other.
Leonela was riding with her parents on Interstate 84 near Sweetser Summit in Idaho when the wreck happened. Their vehicle, a Chevy Silverado pickup, slid on the icy roadway and rolled into the median. Ambulances transported all three to Cassia Regional Medical Center shortly after 8:47 a.m. Leonela died at around 3:30 p.m., according to a local news report.