Heartbroken family, scout troop raising money for funeral of girl killed in crash

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by SCOTT EVANS / Idaho's NewsChannel 7

NWCN.com

Posted on December 2, 2009 at 9:29 PM

BOISE -- The grandmother of a little girl killed in a rollover accident the day before Thanksgiving is talking about her personal nightmare for the first time.

"We barely got 50 miles into our trip and the whole world just fell apart," said Mary Armfield who was Kamila’s grandmother and legal guardian.

Prior to the accident, Armfield and her husband checked 9-year-old Kamila and 10-year-old Andrew out of school early to travel to Utah for Thanksgiving.  Just as kids their age do, they set up their seats for the long drive, TVs and all.

Outside of Hammett, Andrew unbuckled his seat belt to help fix his sister's TV. Kamila unstrapped to get into cooler clothes. At that coincidental moment, the back passenger tire blew.

"It looked like somebody just set a bomb off in it, it was just shattered," said Armfield, "It just started weaving on the highway and went out of control."

The mini-van rolled several times. Both Andrew and Kamila were ejected.

"There was nothing to be done," said Armfield.

Trapped in her car, Mary saw the kids were out of the van.  Andrew lying on the freeway, Kamila not far away.

"And I saw Andrew pulling himself along, over to his sister and grabbing on to her and screaming her name, saying 'Kami, Kami, I love you, please Kami don't die.  Don't leave me.  I can't go through this again. I can't lose you,'" said Armfield.

Covered in blood Kami was beyond saving. 

Ironically, in May of 2002, Kami was just 18-months old when her mother Meigan, was also thrown from a car and died.

Mary and her husband became their grand-children's legal guardians.

"The closer it comes to the funeral and having to lay her away, the more reality hits," said Armfield.

But getting money to pay for the funeral is proving to be a problem. That's where Kamila's Girl Scout Leaders and troop are stepping forward.

"We have ideas of what we would like, but it has to come from them. It has to come from them," said Gloria Williams who is one of Kamila’s Girl Scout Leaders.

"Well maybe we could do a bakery or something," said friend Autumn Kierstead.

"We might bake like stuff people want to buy, like maybe brownies. Brownies, cookies, donuts. Like anything that they like," said Cassandra Williams, also a friend of Kamila.

The leaders are also helping the girls cope with reality.

"It's mainly to understand what you're feeling, but continue to move forward," said Williams. "I wish we could rewind everything and take it back from the beginning, and then it never happened."

The Girl Scout Troop will meet Wednesday night to receive some grief counseling and decide the details of their fundraiser.

Kamila's viewing will be Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Cloverdale Funeral Home in Boise. The funeral is set for Thursday at 2:00 p.m. Both will be open to the public.

A memorial fund for Kamila Palomera has been set up at Idaho Central Credit Union. Donations can be made at any branch.

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