SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane community is remembering the life of Gracie Snider, a 10-year-old girl who was killed Saturday in a traffic accident near Ritzville.
Gracie was on her way home from a soccer game with the Spokane Foxes in Yakima when the car she was riding in hit the back of a semi-truck on I-90 about 13 miles east of Ritzville. She was riding with her coach and another girl, who was critically injured and is now in the ICU at Sacred Heart Medical Center.
She had an infectious smile, was tiny but quite the athlete and loved playing soccer. Gracie was a fourth grader at Cooper Elementary where her mom is a school counselor.
"My heart goes out to the family," Shereen Brewster said.
It was on the field where Gracie really shined.
"She is a really fast, quick little kid," Chaz Valdez said.
"Watching her on the soccer field, she was just a natural," Brewster said.
A close family friend, Brewster also taught Gracie in Soccer Tots.
"I couldn't believe how she turned out into this tiny little soccer player," she said.
Gracie was a beautiful, young girl, smart, witty, and a friend to all.
"She was a happy little kid, she was this petite little ball of joy," Brewster said.
Gracie was loved, as evidenced by a memorial in front of Cooper Elementary filled with a poster, pictures, flowers and balloons.
"She just always had a smile on her face and seemed so happy," Valdez said.
Valdez, who is with the Spokane Foxes and coached Gracie in a soccer camp, is organizing a candlelight vigil Wednesday to remember her.
"We are kind of just getting the community together to celebrate Gracie's life," he said.
She died all too young but Gracie left her mark both on the soccer field and in the hearts of those who know and love her.
"In her ten years on this earth, she shined, she was a rock star," Brewster said.
The candlelight vigil to honor Gracie's life is Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Manito Park. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help cover Gracie's funeral expenses and also pay for a soccer scholarship fund in her honor. Click here for more information.