Balloon Release Planned for Oshkosh Girl Killed in Crash

Balloon Release Planned for Oshkosh Girl Killed in Crash

A unique memorial is planned for 12-year-old Reighlee Stevensen, who was killed in a 10-person car crash on Friday.
OSHKOSH, WI. (WFRV-TV) -

It's been six long days since Kristi Colley last said goodbye to her daughter Reighlee - dropping her off for what was supposed to be a fun-filled weekend in Wausau.

        "I just told her to have fun, behave, and she was all smiles," says Colley. "Probably the happiest I'd seen her in awhile."

that would be the final time she saw her daughter, losing her in a 10-person car crash last Friday near Wausau.

        "I know that she didn't suffer, which is very important," she says. "And I know that she wasn't alone."

The 16-year-old driver of the vehicle was without a license - But Colley says people should avoid unnecessary judgement.

        "It's hard enough, what they witnessed is just unbelievable and something that they'll never forget, they'll live with the rest of their lives," sye says. "So that negativity is just not needed, they need support and love and caring."

It was on the way home Friday evening that Reighlee's 4-year-old sister came up with a plan. The two were fond of releasing balloons after restaurant dinners as a way to pay homage to a lost relative or friend.

        "When we came home she said that she wanted to send Reighlee up a balloon, and it just kind of spiraled from there"

Now, over 350 people are expected to release a balloon in Reighlee's honor Friday night at Menominee Park. It's a moment her mother views as a final send-off.

        "Knowing that I'm not going to see her again, and this is it, it's Reighlee mode, and I just want to make sure she has the best funeral and anything that I can do to make sure she knows that we loved her and gonna miss her."

Over 350 people are expected to attend the public send off - Which will take place at 6 p.m. Friday evening in Menominee Park.
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