Waverly friends remember 15-year-old crash victim - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waverly friends remember 15-year-old crash victim

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

The Waverly-Shell Rock School District is mourning the loss of a student.  15-year-old Paxton Miller of Waverly died after the car he was riding in crashed Saturday afternoon.

The Iowa State Patrol reports the 16-year-old driver of that car lost control after the road surface changed from pavement to gravel outside of New Hartford.  The vehicle spun, went into the ditch, and rolled onto its top.

We had a chance to visit with several of Paxton Miller's friends Monday.  They're all deeply saddened by his death, but say in his short life, he made a big impact.

As you walk into Waverly-Shell Rock High School, it's hard not to look down.  Dozens of messages have been written in sidewalk chalk in memory of 15-year-old Paxton Miller, killed Saturday in a car accident.  The chalk messages say things like "We love you Paxton" and "You had the best smile".

"He had the biggest smile ever.  When he was really happy, you could tell.  Obviously, you know, he's got a pretty great smile,"  said Miller's friend Selena Kasinger.

"It was beautiful,"  friend Kristen Sullivan said.

"He was a good kid," said Kasinger.

"He had angel teeth!" Sullivan said.

A group of Miller's closest friends gathered near New Hartford along Diagonal Road Monday afternoon at the accident scene.  They placed a small memorial alongside the ditch, while offering each other hugs and support to cope with the tragedy.

"We're trying to make sure we all stay together and hang out as much as we can," said Sullivan.

"We've just all been with the boys, supporting them, making sure they're all okay--especially Wyatt and Zach and Cam since they were all in the accident too," said Kasinger.

Back at Waverly-Shell Rock High School, a lot of students wore Miller's favorite color, green, to class Monday. And the school is offering counseling to anyone that needs it.

"When you lose a child like this in a school, you lose a member of the family.  And you can tell by the hurt in the kids and in the teachers that Paxton had a special place in the building.  And it's really hard.  It takes the wind out of the sails for a school year.  You have to re-dig, restart, and think ‘We can do it.  We can make it,'" said Ken Winter, Waverly-Shell Rock High School principal.

And Miller's friends say their smiling, skateboarding friend will be deeply missed.  It's their closeness to each other that will help them get through this difficult time.

Funeral arrangements have been set for Paxton Miller.  Visitation is Thursday from 4-7 p.m. at Kaiser-Corson Funeral Home in Waverly.  His funeral will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church in Waverly.

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