ROXANA, IL (KTVI)-- There was an outpouring of grief and support in Roxana, Illinois, Monday night, on what would have been Sami Owsley's 17th birthday.
Owsley died in the car crash that also injured four of her classmates, in Bethalto Saturday night.
On a cold, wet, night when most people would want to stay home, about 500 people packed the Roxana High School gym for a vigil.
They sang happy birthday to Owsley.
Her parents, her little sister, Sydney who’s a Roxana freshman, were there.
One of the survivors, a girl who’s been released from a hospital, was there, too.
They stopped by the tennis court memorial on the way. Students left behind flowers, photos, and messages there.
“You will stay with us, watch over us, and guide us,” one of the messages read.
“I’m 17 years old. She didn’t even get to make it to 17. I just feel like somebody younger than me is not supposed to die,” said senior, Sarah Stogsdill. “She was very innocent. She tried her best in all of her sports. She was great in school. I’ve never seen her even slightly mean to anybody at all.”
“She’s a junior. I see her around and stuff. She’s well liked, well known. It’s hard,” said sophomore, Chance Foss.
Owsley was driving with 4 classmates in her Volkswagen Beetle around 9:20 Saturday night, went it went off of Buchta Road in Bethalto and hit a tree, police said.
They had nothing new on what led to the crash.
Authorities did not release the names of the students who survived the crash.
“It was sad. But I was happy to see that everyone came out to support her. She was a really liked person. It made me really happy that everyone was there,” said freshman, Cody McMillen.
“This is her birthday. They sang happy birthday to her,” said Assistant Superintendent, Steve Oertle. “Just put one foot in front of the other and support them as best we can. It’s a great community, great kids. We love our kids. They know what it means to be a friend and support each other.”
“It’s ok to slow down and take life slowly, because we’re not going to have these times again,” Stogsdill said.
3 students remain hospitalized.
Oertle said the most severely injured, a girl who suffered head trauma, showed signs of improvement: moving and squeezing a hand.
The message at the high school Monday night: keep praying.
There's been nothing more frompolice on what led to the crash.