Marion steps up to help family after crash kills 12-year-old

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MARION, Ark. — Words of love, support and encouragement are quickly filling a card at the Merry Magnolia, a place you'd often find 34-year-old Shawanna Rucks shopping for her two girls.

"Just the brightest soul possible," owner Rachael Ruud said.

Rucks was driving her daughters, 9-year-old Mariyah and 12-year Masiyah, to school just before 8 a.m. Tuesday when Arkansas State Police say Rucks pulled out in front of another car trying to make a left turn. Masiyah was killed.

Since then, people across the small city have joined forces to help raise money for the family and to let them know they're not alone.

"We're all sorry and we are all praying for her," Ruud said. "We can help the community show her that we're all there for her."

Rucks is a single mom and a carhop at Sonic, where she's worked for the past few years. People who live here say she's well-known in the community for her kind heart and big personality.

"Never met anyone like her. Never saw her unhappy, never saw her have a bad day. She would make you have a good day after leaving there," Ruud said.

A GoFundMe account has already raised tens of thousands of dollars for the family.

"I was just sad," sixth-grader Peyton Johnson said. "They were really good friends."

Neighborhood kids have raised another $150 with a lemonade stand.

"I know their family`s in pain and we can help them," seventh-grader Bransen Bowden said.

Masiyah loved to play basketball. She was on her way to her second day of seventh grade at her new school when she was killed.

Family told WREG her mom and sister are still in the hospital but are doing OK.