PHOTO: Photo courtesy of the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department Facebook page.
By RACHAEL LONG
The unthinkable happened Saturday morning when 18-year old Linsey Stewart — a Nolensville High School (NHS) senior with plans to graduate on Sunday — was involved in a car accident that claimed her life.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s (THP) initial report, Linsey was traveling northbound on Interstate 65 near the City of Franklin when her vehicle drifted to the right side of the road and struck a pole holding a roadway sign.
There were no other injuries or vehicles involved in the accident, according to the report, and Stewart was driving within the posted speed limit.
NHS Principal Bill Harlin took to Twitter early Monday morning to share his sympathies with Linsey’s family and the NHS community.
“Good morning NHS family,” Harlin’s tweet reads. “We are heartbroken today over the loss of one of our seniors on graduation day. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stewart family. We love you Linsey.”
Linsey was a member of the school’s inaugural graduating class.
The NHS Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO) shared a message on its Facebook page inviting the Nolensville community to contribute to a meal train which will help meet basic needs of the family as they grieve.
“The Stewart family covets your thoughts and prayers at this time,” the PTSO message reads. “Nolensville is THE best at rallying around those in need in our community. We greatly appreciate your support during this difficult time for the family.”
According to a post in the Nolensville 411 closed Facebook group, several businesses in town will host fundraisers this week to support the Stewart family including Brothers’ Burger Joint, Outlanders Southern Chicken, Mill Creek Brewing Company and E&B Roasters.
In her honor, members of the Nolensville community have suggested an effort to “paint the town” with the color light blue — Linsey’s favorite, according to a neighbor — with ribbons, signs and clothing. Several have even begun using the hashtag #LovingLinsey when making donations or sharing social media posts about how to help the Stewart family following Linsey’s passing.
RoundUp for Nolensville will make a donation to the family to help with hospital bills, funeral costs and more. Donations to support the Stewart family can be made with the Venmo app to Linsey’s mother with her username “@Cheri-Stewart-1” or dropped off to Mama’s Java in Nolensville.
A candlelight vigil will be held for Linsey’s friends and family at Nolensville High School at 8 p.m. According to Assistant Director of Communications Cory Mason, the candlelight memorial is open to those who knew Linsey.
For more information about the meal train or a list of ways to support the Stewart family, visit the meal train website here.