Community mourns loss of 2 teens killed in crash days before Christmas

Faith Elise Dold (left), Anahi Celeste Garcia (right). Photos courtesy of Miller Roscka Funeral Home.
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MONTICELLO, Ind. (WTHR) — Feelings of shock and mourning are still reverberating in the Monticello community for two teenage girls killed in a car crash days before Christmas.

Both 17-year-olds Faith "Elise" Dold and Anahi Garcia were on US-35, when another crash, sent a semi slamming into them.

Many in the community have spent the past 24 hours at Monticello United Methodist Church where Elise went to church.

"They were headed out to see a movie, just a standard Friday night, school's out, let's go do something together," explained Elise's pastor Justin Cason.

The teens never got there though.

The car they were riding in, heading south on US 35, was hit by a semi coming in the opposite direction.

Both Elise and Anahi died at the scene.

According to investigators, the semi crossed the center line after first rear ending a car it was following.

Police believe that car had stopped quickly to avoid an animal in the road way.

Three other teens in the same car with Elise and Anahi were taken to the hospital.

The driver of the other car and her two children also were injured.

Word of the accident quickly spread Friday night.

"We're broken. You don't often find students that had the type of connections Anahi and Elise did," said Pastor Cason who said he'd just spoken with Elise via text hours before the accident.

Elise had agreed to help out with the church's Christmas program.

"Elise was always willing and able to help with anything we did at the church," said Cason.

Both teens were students at Twin Lakes High School and on the soccer team and sang in the show choir.

"The theater kids and the sports kids, it really effects the entire community and it's hurting right now," said Cason about a time when people should be celebrating, but instead are mourning and inevitably asking, "Why?"

"It's ok to be sad. It's ok to hurt. It's ok to mourn. Do that now and let the figuring out stuff happen later," said Cason.

Another vigil is expected Sunday at 5 p.m. at Monticello United Methodist Church, giving kids and parents another chance to remember Elise and Anahi and continue to come to grips with an unspeakable loss.

Michael Galvin of Twin Lakes School Corporation released this statement on Facebook Saturday:

The Twin Lakes Family is heartbroken to lose two of our students last night in a tragic car accident. I cannot express the appreciation to our community for the outpouring of support and love last night to our students. We will again be offering counseling today from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. at the Monticello Methodist Church. Please pray for the families and our staff and students as we go through this difficult time.