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Community mourns girl's death

Wayne girl
May. 26, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

EAST LYNN -- The Wayne community is reeling following the death of the mayor's daughter Friday night.

A single-vehicle accident at about 6 p.m. Friday on Campcreek Road in East Lynn claimed the life of 17-year-old Kristen Haley Stiltner and injured three others.

She is the daughter of Dwayne Stiltner, the mayor or Wayne, and Traci Lee Stiltner. She had just finished her junior year at Wayne High School.

Wayne High School Principal Sara Stapleton confirmed that Becca Langdon, Charles Smith and Andrew Murray were the other occupants of the vehicle. All were listed in fair condition Saturday evening at Cabell Huntington Hospital. She said all three were alert and talking Friday night.

She said the two boys had graduated in the past two years from Wayne, while Langdon will be a senior in the fall. Langdon also is a member of the softball team that won the state title earlier this week.

"It's very difficult," said Stapleton, who has only dealt with the loss of a student once during her administrative tenure. "There were a lot of kids at the hospital last night, leaning on each other for support."

Teachers, staff and counselors will be at the school Tuesday through Friday, May 29 to June 1. Counselors will be on site through Wednesday, June 6, for students who need support.

Stapleton said the Wayne is a tight-knit community, evidenced by how quickly a candlelight vigil was held outside town hall just hours after the accident.

"The best thing I think is be supportive, and that's what our community is known for," Stapleton said.

She said she'll remember Stiltner as a smart kid with a great and fun-loving personality. Stapleton said she always had a smile on her face and "that's the way she needs to be remembered."

Friends also took to social media outlets like Facebook to talk about what Stiltner meant to them. One person wrote that "Kristen always had a smile on her face and made sure she put a smile on yours ..."

Another person said they weren't sure why things like this happen but "God has a plan for us all, and when Kristen was here she touched all our lives in one way or another. She was a beautiful person inside and out, and we will NEVER forget her, she'll be missed greatly."