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PONTOTOC, MISS. (WCBI) – Every parent knows the worries and anxiety they feel as their children become teenagers and start driving. Parents are concerned everytime their son or daughter leaves home.

For one family, their worst nightmare became a reality when their 17 year old daughter was killed in a wreck. On a wall at Pontotoc High School, seniors put up a makeshift memorial for a classmate gone too soon.

“With heavy hearts we’re sitting here losing one of our students,” said Pontotoc High School Principal Paul Henry.

Monday morning, 17 year old Macie Atkinson was killed in a one car accident on her way to school. As the shock sets in, administrators are doing all they can to help Macie’s friends process the loss.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to be supportive of our students. Counselors, working with us, local area preachers came into help us, anything we can do to help them in the grieving process,” Henry said.

This is the second time in less than a year this class has dealt with the unexpected death of a classmate. Back in March Tristan Stafford also died in a wreck. Ironically, he was Macie’s boyfriend.

“Everybody here loved both of them, everybody here was very supportive of her when that happened. I asked her how she was doing and she would kind of lower her eyes and say ‘I’m ok’” said Judy Rutledge, who taught Macie English in the 9th grade and this year Macie was in her ACT prep class.

Now, as students write tributes at Macie’s parking spot and flowers are being delivered, Rutledge says students and administrators are turning to their Christian faith.

“I had a student this morning ask if he could pray , student led prayer and that seemed to be a very positive thing for the students,” she said.

Macie’s funeral takes place Thursday afternoon at West Heights Baptist Church in Pontotoc.

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