Classmates and family mourn victim in fatal crash

Mercer County
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Students and teachers walked the hallways of Pikeview High School with heavy hearts as they stopped and wrote one last message to sophomore, Rikkilyn Barlow.

Pikeview Principal, Mark Godfrey, said he arranged for a condolence banner to be decorated in her honor, while counseling was offered to those that knew her. 

“She was just a light in the school,” Godfrey said. “She always had a sheepish smile which we loved, and she was just fun to be around here at Pikeview.”

Barlow was pronounced dead at the scene of an accident in Matoaka Wednesday night after her and her boyfriend, Justin Akers were on their way home from getting hot dogs. Their vehicle collided with another vehicle on Matoaka Road.

With a strong love for animals, Barlow’s new puppy was sitting in her lap for the ride, and also died at the scene.

Living just a few miles away from where the accident happened, her aunt, Belinda Meadows, said this news was heartbreaking.

“We’re broken hearted, every one of us” Meadows said. “We’re a pretty close family, my brother and his wife are devastated.”

Standing 4’8″ and weighing under 100 pounds, her family hopes Rikkilyn will be remembered for her heart, which they describe as bigger than her body.

“She was one of a kind, anybody that knew her loved her,” Meadows said. “She was little but she carried the biggest heart with her especially her love for animals.”

Funeral arrangements are being made at the Bailey Kirk Funeral Home.

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