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Nevertheless…

Dayana Peña, Sports Editor

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A daily devotion becomes the message that sees us through

Tuesday, February 6 marked a tragic loss for the Eaton community. Kennedi Ingram was an outstanding student, teammate and loving friend. Kennedi was a four-year state champion volleyball player, a beloved LINK leader, and a friend to anyone who crossed her path

She was a lively and youthful teenager. Her life was taken by a train, when her SUV was struck on the railroad crossing at 5th Street and US 85, where not even a year ago the life of another high school student, Dallas Duran, was taken as well. Kennedi’s impact and great influence was witnessed as the entire community came together to grieve and stand up for change. Emma Weaver, an EHS graduate, created an online petition to shut down the dangerous fifth street crossing. Within 24 hours,the petition had reached 5,000 signatures and swelled to over 13,000 signatures from not only the people in the community, but from people all over America. A hard copy of the petition was later passed around the town of Eaton to plead with the Union Pacific and Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to put up lights and crossing arms in Weld County’s most dangerous crossing. The Greeley Tribune editorial board wrote that “four crashes, two deaths and one injury in the past 10 years, [makes] it the most dangerous railroad crossing in Weld County.” Almost immediately after the accident, Eaton mayor Kevin Ross shut down Fifth street, and said it would remain closed until crossing arms are installed. For those who did not know Kennedi, her brightness and enthusiasm could lighten up a room. Her friend Chelsey Lockey said, “My favorite memories of Kennedi were the ones we shared on the volleyball court. Growing up that’s where we spent most of our time, at practice and at games. She was just always super competitive and fun to be around for those games.” Chelsey, too, spoke of the thing everybody remembers most–Kennedi’s beaming smile.“I think everyone will remember her as someone who always had a smile on her face and someone who was practically good at everything she did. She was able to make everyone stay a little better and just a happy kid in general.”

Her funeral took place on Tuesday, February 13 at the Eaton Evangelical Free Church, and over 1,000 grieving students, teachers, family members and friends gathered to commemorate her life, and were uplifted by her daily devotions that gave the crowd the hope that Kennedi would be among them once again. Throughout the ceremony, family members and dear friends tried to find an answer through God as to why she she was taken too soon. Colton Ingram, Kennedi’s older brother, said he had battled with this question and in the end he said, “At first I was angry because I thought God was taking something from me, but then I realized I was giving one my most precious things to Him.” The entire sanctuary was filled with quiet sobs as her ceremony went on. At the end of the service, the volleyball girls decided to continue a tradition that the Kennedi started at volleyball games. They all swayed together singing Neil Diamond’s song “Sweet Caroline.” The sight gave Kennedi a place among her teammates and friends as they joined together as a family. Kennedi’s friends and loved ones have graciously provided their memories, as well as an insight of her life.

Mckenna Cyphers said, “My favorite memory was a snow day when we went sledding. We named the hill Deadman’s Hill and spent half the time trying to get to it, even though we fell into the river trying. And when we finally made it to the hill we just all crashed into the river again. We laughed the whole time and took a funny video pretending to be hardcore adventurers in Antarctica. I think her impact was to not take anything for granted. [It’s important] to tell the people that you care about that you love them every day. Even in something as ugly as death, you can still see the beauty and know that she is in a better place and that some good is going to come out of it. She loved life and really knew how to live it up. She just loved being silly and having fun.”

Ana Scott said, “My favorite memory was when we were in seventh grade and we were watching a paranormal activity movies. The movie took place in a basement and how her house is set up it looked a lot like it. I was going to the bathroom and it looked like I was coming out of the basement. When she saw me, she started screaming and I was scared because I thought there was something behind me. So I started running after her and she’s screaming bloody murder and we woke up her whole house. If there’s anything to learn from Kennedi it was the way she lived her life. You don’t take a day for granted. You live it up every day for [each] day. Don’t ever say no to something just because you’re scared. Just send it. That was totally her thing. Go do it. Don’t be afraid. Just be yourself.”

Abby Sears said, “I have a lot of memories with Kenn, but one of my favorites would be going to see Kenny Chesney at Cheyenne Frontier Days. He’s both one of my favorite singers and we were in the standing room only, so we just belted every song and it was one of the funnest nights with her. She impacted me in so many more ways than one. She always made me want to better myself in everything I did. She always encouraged me and pushed me to go the extra mile. Whether she knew it or not, I looked up to her a lot, and I’m forever grateful for all the laughs and memories. She’s forever with us!”

Alicia Lovell said, “Kennedi was the kind of friend who knew me inside and out. My favorite memories are with her by my side. Not only do I miss her like crazy, but I’m so fortunate to have had a best friend like her.”

Evan Anderson said, “I have lots of favorite memories with her. From like September to November we just hung out all the time. Like every weekend for three months straight. We would always do something. It didn’t matter where we went. Sometimes we would go out and sometimes we would just hang out in groups. She just had a really unique presence that you just always wanted to be around. I can’t even describe her impact on me. I don’t know how my senior year would have gone without her. She’s one of my closest friends and this year would have been completely different without her.”

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