St. Margaret’s Catholic School students and community members have a memorial mass and a balloon release in Riverton to remember 3-year-old Emma Lewis and 6-year-old Olivia Lewis of Lander.
The two sisters were killed in a tragic car accident near Lander. A morning mass was held at St. Margaret’s Catholic School, where Olivia attended kindergarten. Mass was followed by the balloon release in the afternoon. Olivia’s classmates tied notes written to her with their balloons and shared their memories.
“We played a lot,” said classmate Haven Patterson.
Patterson drew a picture for Olivia and left it on her desk. Classmate Dakayda Yarber said Olivia was her friend and she wrote a special note.
“I love her and I like her and she’s my friend,” said Yarber.
March 18, Emma and Olivia traveled with their mother Rebecca, on highway 789 towards Riverton. Icy road conditions led to an accident. The mother and two children were flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah where the two girls died.
“If she doesn’t know a word, I’ll tell her what it is,” said classmate Averee Thoman.
Thoman said Olivia and her read together. Thoman’s mother said her daughter and classmates handled the situation differently than her older children.
“The students actually did really well,” said Erica Thoman. “They went through sadness and grief, but they actually accepted it, and kind of found found Olivia and Emma were a piece. The staff had a harder time.”
Ms. Thoman said younger children understand differently. She said they still have innocence and don’t realize people are gone forever. She said the children’s funeral mass took place at 10 a.m. in Maryland, where their family lives.