BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of people showed up in Battle Creek to remember an 18-year-old killed in a crash in Texas.
Alexis Butler was a popular Lakeview High School student before moving to Texas where she died a week ago Friday.
The Nov. 10 crash is still under investigation and no arrests have been made, but today people gathered together to remember this young woman who was a friend to so many here even after she moved 1,100 miles away.
A small but sincere gathering of people whose lives were touched by Alexis Butler, taken in a car crash on the other side of the country, came together in Linear Park.
They held candles and watched as pink balloons floated away.
“Lexxy was the little sister I never had growing up…Sorry,” a friend of the girl they knew as Lexxy, told the gathered crowd – reading from a shaking hand-written script and wiping away tears. “Lexxy will be missed by so many people. She truly was beautiful inside and out.”
People described her bubbly personality that touched so many.
“I guarantee she didn’t even know she affected so many people this much,” said Brittany Mack, one of Butler’s friends who organized the vigil.
Butler was a member of the high school dance team and participated in competitive cheer in Lansing and was studying cosmetology at the time of her death.
“It still doesn’t feel real and it probably never will,” another friend told the crowd. “So we were gonna go and travel… Now she’s not here for me to do that with.”
Police in Arlington, Texas tell us she was backing out of the driveway of a friend’s house when her car was struck by a pickup truck.
The driver claims he was distracted by the court-ordered ignition interlock device – a breathalyzer that determines if the driver has been using alcohol and disables the vehicle if booze is detected.
He claims that he was looking down in order to blow into the device and this is what caused him to take his eyes off the road, leading to the crash.
His contention is disputed by those who manufacture and administer the interlock devices.
“If someone believes they are not able to blow into the device safely while operating a vehicle, they should pull off to the side of the road,” said Fred Woodhams, Michigan Secretary of State spokesperson.
Police in Texas have not charged anyone in this case as they await data from the vehicle and complete investigations.
Alexis’ obituary says she was laid to rest last week and her organs have been donated in order to continue her legacy of touching others’ lives.