Vigil held for four victims of Stoddard Co. train crash - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Vigil held for four victims of Stoddard Co. train crash


Friends and community members gathered on Tuesday, September 6 to remember the lives of the four people killed in a Stoddard County train accident.

The vigil took place outside Richland Public Schools where two of the victims previously attended.

Twenty-year-old Hailey Laws and her one-year-old son Weston Crider, as well as 19-year-old Maura Peters and her infant son Bryson Umfleet were killed Friday, September 2 when their car was struck by an on-coming train at a railroad crossing on CR 732.

Whitney Teeters and Madison Snyder, former classmates of the girls, say they organized the prayer service to remember their fallen friends and their infant sons.

“It’s going to be hard to go on without them,” Teeters said. “I can’t even remember my life when they weren’t a part of it.”

Teeters, Snyder and others organized what they thought was going to be a small gathering. But word quickly spread throughout the community.

About 50 people attended the gathering. The group prayed, lit candles and shared memories of the two girls and their sons.

"It shows how many people really loved them,” Teeters said.

“They could walk in a room and light it up just with their spirits," Snyder said. "They we're such happy people all the time."

Snyder describes Laws and Peters as best friends and caring mothers.

One person did survive the crash.

Nineteen-year-old Vidalia Mace was flown to a Cape Girardeau Hospital with serious injuries on Friday.

A family member tells Heartland News Mace was transported to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Family say she is suffering from from a broken vertebrae, six to eight broken ribs, and a broken hip and pelvis. She is off the ventilator and breathing on her own.

The family member says she is doing as well as can be expected.

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