A Saginaw County teen, who just celebrated graduating from St. Charles High School, was killed in a crash over the holiday weekend.
It happened Sunday evening in Bridgeport. The community left devastated by the sudden loss of 17-year-old Kirsten Franzel.
St. Charles High School faculty member Donna Schantz said one of her favorite students was Kirsten Franzel.
“She graduated Thursday. She went to prom on Saturday. And she passed away on Sunday,” Schantz said.
Franzel died in a car crash Sunday at the intersection of East Curtis Road and Sheridan road in Saginaw County.
“I still can’t believe that it’s real. It just doesn’t seem real,” Schantz said. “She was amazing. She could dance. She could act. She could play music. She could cheer. She was determined. She was kind-hearted.”
Tuesday students decorated Franzel’s locker. Schantz said school administrators provided counseling and therapy dogs for anyone who needed to talk.
“I was very proud to be a bulldog today for the way that we handled it,” Schantz said.
Schantz said she’s working with the class of 2021 to hold a vigil for Franzel on Thursday night at 8:30.
“I’d like to get the focus off from how she died and celebrate how she lived,” Schantz said.
Schantz said balloons will be released, speeches made, luminaries will line the high school track and one of Franzel’s favorite songs, American Pie by Don McLean will be played at the conclusion of the vigil. All to celebrate a life taken too soon.
“How do you explain this to anyone? How do you make sense of this? There’s no way to make sense of it,” Schantz said.
Schantz said Franzel planned to work at a flower shop in Saginaw this summer before heading off to the air force in the fall to pursue a career in medicine. But now this community is left to honor the life that was and wonder what could’ve been.
“I love you and I hope that you’re at peace,” Schantz said.