Community comes together for family touched by tragedy

Community comes together for family touched by tragedy

Fatal car crash stirs support from friends and strangers alike

ralphhardin@gmail.com On Tuesday morning just before 8 a.m., Shawanna Rucks and her two children were involved in a terrible car accident in Marion, resulting in the death of her 12-year-old daughter.

Shawanna, her 10-year-old daughter and the driver of the other vehicle were also injured.

According to a report from the Arkansas State Police, Becky Kirkman’s Ford pick-up was traveling northbound on the I-55 East Service Road. Rucks’ Nissan Altima was stopped at the westbound stop sign on Judge Smith Drive at its intersection with the East Service Road. Rucks attempted to make a left turn southbound onto the East Service Road when the front end of the Ford struck the left side of the Altima.

As news of the tragedy spread, members of the Marion and West Memphis communities began collectively offering prayers and concerns. The reaction was quick and purpose-driven.

“I'm sure most of you know Shawanna Rucks and her girls were in a terrible wreck this morning,” Kristen Catt posted on Facebook as she announced her intentions to help the family financially. “If you're like me, the first thought I had was I hope someone sets up a gofundme. Well, I decided not to wait. She's a single mom, and a very hard worker! Let's help her out in her time of need!”

Friends and neighbors, coworkers and strangers heard the call and answered with an outpouring of support. Catt originally set a fundraising goal (www.gofundme. com/lets-help-ourfavorite- sonic-girl) of $1,000 — a goal that was met almost immediately. In less than a day, the effort had already amassed more than $24,000.

While not as large in dollar amounts but perhaps even bigger in terms of heart, a neighborhood lemonade stand popped up Tuesday afternoon in Bayou Vista. A couple of kids set up the lemonade stand at LH Polk Drive and Jackson Square for Shawanna and her girls, with all proceeds to be given to their family.

“My heart is so full to know how many people participated in the lemonade sale tonight,” said proud mom Jessica Johnson. “The kids are so happy to have been able to help.

They raised over $150 in a little over one-and-a-half hours. While donations are a blessing, please keep praying for the Rucks as well. Proud of the way our community has come together for this sweet family.”

Meanwhile, as efforts continue, the word continues to spread in support for the family via social media with the hashtag #prayers4theRucks.

By Ralph Hardin

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