Friends, family and members of the community gathered Thursday night to remember a teen who died from injuries suffered in a Peoria traffic accident earlier in the week.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted a community gathering in Glendale to remember 15-year-old Alexa Flores. Pictures of Alexa were at entrances to the chapel on a table where mourners could leave a note or flowers for the family.
Alexa, a Sandra Day O’Connor High School student, was fatally injured in a car accident while riding with three of her classmates Wednesday about 7 a.m.
Peoria police said the teens were southbound on Ridgeline Road when they drove through a stop sign and were T-boned by a truck that was westbound on Sonoran Mountain Ranch Road.
Alexa suffered the most serious injuries.
Her mother, Rachel Flores, recalled during Thursday evening’s gathering how she was working at the hospital that morning when emergency crews brought her daughter in. Flores said she was alerted and immediately headed to the emergency room to see Alexa.
“I looked at her when she came in, and I knew right away she was in heaven,” Flores said. Her daughter had a heartbeat but it seemed to be abnormal, she said.
Flores said Alexa was spiritually beautiful and that she did not suffer.
“I held her in my arms,” Flores said. “She went really peacefully.”
Nicole Christensen, who said she was Alexa’s best friend, said she met Alexa in the third grade and the two had discussed plans for the summer and even planned to go to college together.
“I wish I could just see her bright smile one more time,” Christensen said.
Christensen was able to say goodbye one last time in the hospital, where Alexa remained on life support for a short time before she died.
Raegan Fifield, another close friend, remembered Alexa as a kind person who gave her all in everything she did.
“I’m going to miss her so badly,” Raegan said. “I’ll never be able to fill this hole in my heart.”
Flores encouraged everyone in attendance to continue sending text messages and pictures to the family because it helps them to remember Alexa’s life and legacy.
“Memories of her is all we have,” Flores said. “She will always be the light of my life.”
A street-side memorial
At the site of Wednesday’s accident, a street-side memorial has emerged to honor Alexa. Mourners have left flowers, candles and handwritten messages at the site.
At the makeshift memorial, one of the messages reads: “I hope you know how much of an amazing impact you’ve had on all of us…”
Dee Nielsen-Sharkey, a resident of the neighborhood where the accident occurred, was there Thursday to leave flowers, a piece of art and to say a prayer.
Nielsen-Sharkey said she could hear the crash from the end of the block.
“It was a tremendous crash,” Nielsen-Sharkey said. “It sounded like a bomb went off.”
Nielsen-Sharkey said when she saw the crash, she knew it was going to be bad. She said she prayed that it would turn out well.
“For this family right now, it’s going to hurt for a while,” Nielsen-Sharkey said.
Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2p3ugQ8