In loving memory of my beautiful Emmalee Rose Halstead
March 9, 2009-August 27, 2013
August 27, 2013. Emmalee was only 4 years old.
It was a typical Tuesday for me and Emmalee. After dropping Caleb off at school, we went and had breakfast at Boomarang Diner. She asked for pancakes, and they brought her a butterfly shaped pancake, which she ate every single bite of. We then shopped at Walmart and went home.
I remember the gut feeling I had that day. Something was telling me to call Porter and tell them not to send Caleb on the bus, but I didn’t listen. When it was time, Emmalee and I got in the car and headed to Park Elementary. We pulled into the parking space and waited to hear the bell ring. That was our signal to head to the drop off point and wait for the bus, as we had always done.
Today was different, though. Emmalee got out of the car and started running towards the drop off point without me. She was too fast for me, and I proceeded to call out to her to stop. She ran in between 2 cars that were in the pick-up line, and as soon as she was between the cars, the line moved forward. I remember seeing her freeze in place, as if she knew she was in trouble. The driver could not see her or wasn’t able to react in time to stop before hitting her.
As the pick-up line moved, I saw her go down to the ground. At this point, I started running toward her. There were screams heard everywhere. As I approached her body, I screamed. She was fully intact, but there was blood coming from everywhere. Her eyes were still open.
I remember someone telling her not to move, which made me think she was still alive. Someone volunteered to call 911 while I was on the phone with her dad, who was in Indiana at the time running truck loads. I was pulled away from the scene by a school counselor, who asked me not to look at the scene, but I did anyway. Paramedics had arrived, but there was nothing they could do. I saw the white sheet being put over her but I never really put one and one together at that time.
I was escorted in the school and was told that police would intercept Caleb getting off the bus and bring him in. I had to break the news to my mom in Colorado on the phone, and I had to call other family members and tell them the news. Once Caleb came in, one of the school staff members assisted me in telling Caleb what had happened to Emmalee.
We laid her to rest on Saturday, August 31. She is buried in the Garden of Angels, which is a special section of the cemetery for children. We were blessed with the funeral home that we chose, since they have a free burial program for children 12 and under. Everything except for certain things was covered by the funeral home. My classmates arranged a memorial fund as well so that really helped.
She is missed in our home. We have gone through several birthdays and holidays without her. She will forever be in our hearts and our memories.
By sharing her story, I hope to honor her and hopefully prevent other tragedies from happening. Please always use extra caution in neighborhoods and parking lots. Always watch for children know that one could dart out at any given time. Like Emmalee, toddlers do not have the cognitive ability to asses risks properly.
Please consider making a donation in honor of Emmalee to help KidsAndCars.org save precious little lives
For more safety tips and information, please visit: http://www.kidsandcars.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Frontover-Fact-Sheet.pdf