Metro-East News

O’Fallon High graduate, 20, dies in head-on crash

Kayla McNamara, 20, was killed in a head-on collision March 28, 2017. She was a 2014 graduate of O’Fallon Township High School.
Kayla McNamara, 20, was killed in a head-on collision March 28, 2017. She was a 2014 graduate of O’Fallon Township High School.

A 20-year-old graduate of O’Fallon Township High School died after she was involved in a head-on crash early Tuesday morning on Arkansas 412.

Kayla McNamara, of Paragould, Arkansas, died after her eastbound 2008 Hyundai Elantra crossed a middle turn lane and crashed into a dump truck traveling the opposite direction, according to an Arkansas State Police crash report. The crash occurred shortly after 8 a.m.

McNamara is a 2014 graduate of O’Fallon Township High School. Principal Rich Bickel said McNamara “was a vibrant young lady.”

“She’s going to be severely missed,” Bickel said. “When we have a loss such as this that is so unexpected and at such a time in a young person’s life, it’s a struggle for everybody to cope with that.”

McNamara was an active participant in color guard, a group that performs alongside the school band.

“Those kids work so hard and put so much time into that,” Bickel said. “Kayla was a great example of that. That’s the kind of student and person she was. It’s just a very somber situation for us here. We’re trying to cope as best we can.”

Caylin Koch is a friend of McNamara’s from high school. Koch said her friend was a bubbly, helpful sort of person.

“If anybody needed anything, even if you weren’t her friend you talked to all the time, she was always there for anybody,” Koch said. “I have never seen her not be a bubbly person. She was always happy.”

A visitation for McNamara will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Heath Funeral Home at 321 W. Garland St. in Paragould followed by a funeral 11 a.m. Satuday at Redeemer Lutheran Church at 829 W. Kingshighway.

Local friends of McNamara will hold a memorial 7 p.m. Saturday at the O’Fallon Township High School’s Smiley Campus at 600 S. Smiley St.

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