Bay City Central HS mourns

Autumn Elwell was on her way back home from a weekend concert in Grand Rapids when a tractor trailer on I-96 ran into her vehicle killing her and injuring her sister.

Students say Autumn was a part of a larger family. She spent a lot of time with the marching band in and out of school and her band mates say she will be greatly missed.

Her 17th birthday would have been today. Instead of celebrating, Autumnâ??s friends are now coming together to remember the Bay City Central Senior.

â??It's depressing but it helps us all come together we got really close today and it just got us closer,â?? said band mate Adam Pelletier.

Elwell was killed around 1am after a tractor trailer hit her and her sister, Ashley Donnelly, on interstate 96 near US 131 in Grand Rapids.

Officials say Donnelly was attempting to back up after missing an exit.

Today, grief counselors were in school to help Autumnâ??s classmates deal with the loss of their classmate, but they say their comfort comes by sharing their memories of their friend.

â??I couldn't march because my flip flop was broke and she just told me to march barefoot and we laughed about it the rest of the time, I marched the hallways barefoot. She would always go around telling everyone she loved them and was always optimistic,â?? said Lindsey Redfern.

As a way to keep Autumn close to their hearts, students decided to craft and wear ribbons made of Autumnâ??s favorite colors.

â??The ribbons always mean something and they are always going to be something to remember her by,â?? said Daechi VanWert.

A source close to the family said Autumnâ??s sister Ashley is six months pregnant and still hospitalized in Grand Rapids.

Teachers within the school are reaching out the community for donations to help the family.