Youngsters Deal with Death of A Classmate

East Stroudsburg, Monroe County- With the last day of school on Thursday   this should be a happy time at J.M. Hill elementary in East Stroudsburg — but students returned to class Monday without one of their own.
Six-year-old Sophia Willis — died Saturday afternoon in a crash on route 209 in Hamilton Township.

“Sophia was a beautiful little girl, kindergartener, full of life, full of energy, happy all the time, smiling all the time, just a beautiful little girl.” said Michelle Arnold, principal

    In a school of 430 kids — and roughly 80 kindergarteners — Sophia was special.
    Staff members say she always had a “hello” for them.
    Grief counselors will now be assisting students — especially the 20 kindergarteners who were in Sophia’s class.   

“You tell them the truth. you can’t mask anything. You can’t cover anything up. you answer the questions as best you can and you just love them.” said Principal Arnold

    According to state police — the car Sophia Willis was in crossed the center line and hit another vehicle.
    Investigators believe the young girl wasn’t buckled in correctly.
    the coroner says she was wearing her lap belt — but her chest strap was behind here.

 Mom Elizabeth Trimarchi knows the students will be upset
“I’m sure a lot of children will be pretty upset and have questions so hopefully everybody will pull together and get through this loss.”

    As classes resume — school officials say they called every kindergarteners parent this weekend to make sure they were informed of the crash.
    Now — prayers are helping many struggle with the loss.
“i pray for the parents and I know it’s going to be a really difficult time. There’s no words that can explain a mother’s pain” said Jennifer Fernandez

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