Teens assemble for vigil at bridge

LACONIA — Last night, hours after two eighth grade girls were struck by a vehicle when they were walking away from Laconia Middle School, a large crowd of mourners gathered at the site of the collision as news spread that one of the girls, Lilyanna Johnson, had died.
"She was always so happy and smiling. I can't believe she's gone," said Isabella Kevlin, who played volleyball with Lily.
"My prayers go out to the family, her brother. I just feel for her family," said Mabinty Kamara, a sophomore. "I guess she's in a better place right now. There's so much horrible stuff going on right now, I'm glad she got away from it."
Brandon Galimberti, an eighth grade student, remembered Lilyanna's kindness. "She's so nice, she's nice to everyone. She's the nicest person in the school."
To D.J. Poire, a high school sophomore, the tragedy of Lily's death was underscored by its senselessness. She and Allyssa Miner were struck while standing or walking on the sidewalk at the time of the accident. Investigators have yet to determine why the driver failed to remain in the roadway.
"Maybe this will help people realize that we need to put an end to not paying attention while driving. Because of someone doing something ignorant, another life is lost, and another family is put through tons and tons of grief," Poire said. "She's not going to be able to experience the great moments in life, like going to high school, getting her license, graduating."

Sisters Isabella and Guiliana Kevlin are joined by Mabinty Kamara in a hug crowd at a memorial created last night at the corner of Opechee and Messer streets in Laconia, where hours earlier two eighth grade girls were struck on the sidewalk by a vehicle. One of the girls, Lilyanna Johnson, later died from the injuries she suffered in the accident. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)