Home Family 9-year-old passes away 10 minutes after holding up a note—police then discover...

9-year-old passes away 10 minutes after holding up a note—police then discover a heartbreaking mistake


School is a big deal for families because it helps kids learn new things. Parents often love hearing their children talk about what they learned in school while having dinner together.

But for the Crustner family, things have turned very sad. Little Payton Crustner was all set for her first day in fourth grade and even took a special picture to remember the day. But then something really bad happened, and it ended in a terrible way.

Facebook / LeAndria Starr

Payton Crustner, the then-9-year-old girl, was really excited about her first day in fourth grade. But very sadly, she didn’t even get to start school because something awful happened. Payton was in a terrible car crash and didn’t survive.

A TV station in Houston, KHOU, said that the special picture of Payton was taken just 10 minutes before the crash happened. The police said that a teenager named Marcus Wayne Dukes, who is 18, was driving on the road when he turned his car to the left and ended up going the wrong way into cars coming from the other direction.


The crash happened quickly when Marcus hit the car being driven by 32-year-old Miranda Michelle Clark. Miranda had three kids in the backseat, including 9-year-old Payton, her 16-year-old brother, and a 3-year-old whose name we don’t know. KYTX reported that Payton was thrown out of the car during the crash. She was very badly hurt and died on the spot.

The police said that Miranda was wearing her seat belt, but Payton only had a lower belt on, like the kind that goes across your lap. Unfortunately, that belt didn’t keep Payton safe in the accident.

In the crash, Marcus Dukes, Payton’s brother, and the unidentified 3-year-old weren’t wearing seat belts. Everyone in the accident was taken to the hospital really quickly. Payton’s teen brother got hurt really bad. Luckily, the other three people got better and left the hospital with only small injuries.

A family member wrote on Facebook, “Payton Lynn Crustner, 9 years old, was taken from this world this morning before her first day of 4th grade, please keep this family in your prayers.”

Marcus Dukes / Facebook

We all feel really sad for Payton’s family and are thinking of them and praying for them. This horrible thing that happened shows how important it is to wear seat belts all the time, even if we think we don’t need them. Some people might not use them, but seat belts can keep us safe, whether sitting in the front or the back of the car.

If we share this story with others, maybe more people will remember to use their seat belts. This could help to keep kids and adults safer in cars and might even save lives in the future. It’s a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference.