A girl in Kentucky died on her 9th birthday this week after a tragic bike accident, authorities said.
LaRue County Sheriff Russell McCoy said Charlene Sipes crashed her bike near her Hodgenville, Kentucky, home on Tuesday — hitting the curb and falling, causing a lever on the handlebar to impale her neck and cut an artery, WLKY reports.
McCoy said the girl’s mom discovered her and carried her the 200 feet home, WDRB reports.
The third-grader died at the scene, according to WLKY, which described the incident as a “freak accident.”
Crystal Wilkerson, the principal of Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Hodgenville, said, “Charlie was a charming, caring student who was loved by her teachers and her peers. This is a terrible loss for everyone who knew her,” WDRB reported.
“Our crisis team has arranged resources and support for our students, staff and families as we cope with this loss,” Wilkerson said, according to WDRB. “We ask that members of the community keep the Sipes family, as well as the teachers and students who are grieving, close to your heart.”
An obituary said that Charlene is survived by both her parents, as well as grandparents, a great-grandmother, a sister and three brothers.
Lisa Deweese, who said she is a childhood friend of Charlene’s mother, created a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover the funeral expenses.
“Nothing can replace the loss of a child but if you can give anything so this family can just focus on grieving, it would make an immense difference,” Deweese wrote.
The fundraiser has already brought in more than double its $2,000 goal.
A visitation is scheduled for Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. in Hodgenville, with cremation to follow, according to the obituary.