Arkansas church mourns death of 7-year-old killed in ‘tragic accident’
The 7-year-old daughter of Chinese parents was invited by her public school kindergarten teacher, Debbie Smith. Eventually, Alex started spending every Saturday night at Smith’s house.
“I’ve really been able to see God and our church through the eyes of a child,” said Smith, 46, who never married or had children.
On a recent Sunday, Alex and Smith were walking outside after a fellowship meal when an 88-year-old member put her car into reverse instead of drive and accidentally accelerated, police said. The car struck Smith and ran over Alex.
“It was a tragic accident,” said police Capt. David Smith, no relation to Debbie.
Debbie Smith’s injuries included broken ribs and a broken collarbone. “But mostly, I have a broken heart,” she said.
Alex suffered head injuries and died five days later. “It’s just thesaddest thing I’ve ever experienced in 30 years of ministry,” ministerDan Williams said.
With the blessing of Alex’s parents, the church has established a “Kids Camp” scholarship fund in her honor. “Because Alex was so thrilled to attend our Kids Camp, and learn about Jesus, we felt that the best way to honor her … was to make it possible for other children to have that experience,” Williams said.
Debbie Smith relies on her faith as she grieves. “I do believe that God loved her more than I did,” she said. “And it was a part of his plan.” Donations to the memorial fund may be sent to the College Avenue church at P. O. Box 10040, El Dorado, AR 71730.