HIGH POINT, Mo. — The infield at High Point was encircled by nearly 500 mourners Thursday night, there to remember a friend and teenager known for her whimsical antics and fierce compassion.
Elizabeth Eidson was a junior at Russellville High School after her K-8 years at High Point School, where her father is science teacher.
The 16-year-old died Wednesday from injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident in Moniteau County.
Her school involvements included cheerleading, FFA and volleyball.
At home plate was a table of photos commemorating her devotion to her limousine show steers. In a 4-H article from a few years ago, she described herself with drive and perseverance.
Visitors paid their respects to the family before students, teachers and friends shared their memories from the pitcher's mound.
Several youth told of their adventures, from birthday ice cream runs to melted silly puddy on the bus to 4-wheeler rides gone awry.
A date from a past homecoming remembered meeting her at the Russellville caboose and being unable to do anything but stare at how beautiful she was in her red and white dress.
Other students recalled how Eidson's smile would help them get through their worst days and how she would be the first to reach out to new students.
"She was always aware of other people's feelings; she could tell when someone was having a bad day," one young man said. "She was a like a beam of light in the middle of a crowd."
The 16-year-old was driving a car eastbound around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday on Route C, one mile east of Missouri 87, when she rear-ended a trash truck driven by Jeffery D. Moad, 53, of Eugene. The trash truck was stopped in the eastbound lane, according to Missouri Highway Patrol reports.
Eidson was born June 14, 2001 in Wichita, Kansas, the daughter of Kerry and Robin Eidson. She is survived by a sister, Rochelle Eidson, and an honorary sister, Erin Vernon, as well as several grandparents from Eldon, Iberia, Shell Knob, and Garden Plain, Kansas.
Services are under the direction of Phillips Funeral Home, Eldon. She will be buried in Hopewell Cemetery, Barnett.
Memorials in her memory are suggested to the Elizabeth Eidson Memorial Fund.