Less than 48 hours before the start of her sophomore year and days after her former classmate died, an Elkmont High School student died in a single-vehicle wreck in Limestone County.
Maria Holt, 16, was driving on Parker Road about 7 miles southwest of Athens when her vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree head-on around 9:45 p.m. Saturday. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family and friends shared memories of Holt on social media as news of her death spread.
"You were everything a father could dream of and so much more," her father, James Holt, posted to his Facebook. "You were so full of life and you lived it up to that very moment your car wreck took your life. I can't believe you're gone."
Alabama State Troopers have not released details of the accident. Parker Road ends at Ripley Road in Limestone County, and James Holt said his daughter went past the stop sign and struck a tree on the other side of Ripley Road. He said she was wearing a seat belt.
"We are so very thankful for all the love and support already shown to use during this horrific time," he wrote. "We appreciate the visits, the food, the calls, the texts, and the shoulders we cry on. Words cannot express our grief and pain of losing our amazing only daughter."
Maria Holt's funeral will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday at McConnell Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, also at McConnell.
New to Elkmont
Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk said Maria Holt had attended Clements High School until December 2018, when she transferred to Elkmont High School to finish her freshman year.
"But really, she's a Coxey girl," Sisk said. "That's where she grew up."
He said counselors would be at both schools today.
"It breaks my heart when we lose anybody, but to lose two right before the start of school — that's hard, very hard," Sisk said. "And both had that connection to that community."
On July 31, three days before Maria Holt's death, Clements High rising freshman Addie Baker, 14, was killed in an ATV accident. A gathering of support for Baker was held Aug. 1 during Clements' school open house.
James Holt said Maria had planned to attend Baker's funeral, which was Sunday.