Purple ribbons were tied around the trees at Triangle Park because that was Destiny Marie Haney's favorite color.
Nearly 200 people, many of them wearing purple, gathered at the park Sunday night for a candlelight memorial service for the 8-year-old Lexington girl who was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident Saturday.
"You could be in a bad mood and she would make you happy — she loved everybody and she loved God," said Rita Ellis Caballero, her maternal grandmother.
Destiny was a student at Deep Springs Elementary School. Counselors will be at the school Monday to help students and staff members cope with the death of the third-grader. At least one teacher attended the memorial service.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
Destiny's mother, Rebecca Adams, and her father, Michael Haney, were at the service. Friends and relatives comforted them as a light rain fell and thunder boomed.
Destiny was killed in Scott County, where she was attending a family birthday party. She was a passenger in a Kawasaki Mule four-wheeler driven by a 13-year-old cousin, Scott County Coroner John Goble said.
The vehicle overturned, throwing both youngsters out, and rolled over on Destiny, Goble said.
Destiny was rushed to Georgetown Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead of blunt-force trauma to the head at 5 p.m. Saturday.
The accident happened on Glen Creek Drive just outside the Georgetown city limits. Police told WLEX-TV (Channel 18) that at one point Destiny started to fall off the vehicle and grabbed the steering wheel, causing her cousin to lose control.
The cousin was not seriously hurt.
Goble said it was the first ATV-related death in Scott County in the eight years he's been coroner.
Lisa Deffendall, a spokeswoman for the school system, said officials were trying Sunday to contact the families of other students in Destiny's class, and possibly other third-graders, to tell them of her death.
Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on East Main Street is in charge of arrangements, which were incomplete Sunday.
Among the first to arrive at the memorial service Sunday were Jimmy and Karen Henry, both long-time family friends. They are the ones who tied the purple ribbons on the trees.
"She was a sweet little girl to be taken so young," Jimmy Henry said.