A crowd of nearly 200 gathered in the area of Bell and Farrall Streets Wednesday evening, where a prayer vigil was held for Raegan Permetter, an 11-year-old Shawnee girl injured in a hit-and-run accident one week ago.
Gathering around the steps of Union Missionary Baptist Church, the crowd spilled into the lawn and Bell Street.
Raegan, who is a sixth-grader at Shawnee Middle School, is an avid soccer player who is involved in local sports leagues. She was injured about 7:33 p.m. Sept. 26 in an accident at that intersection.
Chanting "Pray for Raegan," many held balloons, signs and Teddy bears in honor of Raegan. Others had her soccer team No. 7 or the words "Rae Baby" painted on their faces.
As prayers commenced for Raegan, the group also recited the Lord's Prayer.
Shawnee Mayor Wes Mainord attended the event and spoke briefly, saying the community's prayers are with Raegan and her family.
Alexandra Bivens and Elizabeth Bivens, who know Raegan through playing soccer, were among the youth and others there holding signs or candles in support of Raegan.
Both are wishing her a speeding recovery. Alexandra described Raegan as being "funny," and Elizabeth said Raegan "is a sweetheart."
Raegan's mother, Molly Ealy, said she knew the family's friends would be there, but she never expected such a crowd and was overwhelmed by the support.
"It was amazing," she said. "We knew we loved her — we didn't know the community loved her."
Ealy said she was glad to see the whole community of diverse people come out to show support for Raegan.
Youth of all ages and adults, along with members of the local Forsaken Few motorcycle club, were among those in attendance.
And while Raegan does face a tough road of recovery, Ealy said her daughter is doing better. She remains hospitalized in Oklahoma City.
Doctors are treating her for injuries including a fractured skull and forehead, fractured eye sockets, a broken leg and collarbone and internal injuries, she said. Ealy said Raegan also has leg and shoulder injuries that will be the biggest limit to her physical activity.
"There's no doubt in my mind she will recover fully," Ealy said.
While the crowd gathered, Shawnee officers and Citizen Potawatomi Nation police blocked off Bell Street and provided traffic control at the crosswalks on Farrall Street.
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The police department's speed trailer also has been placed in that area showing drivers their speed, with Ealy commenting that having the sign there is "fantastic."
Ealy said the Dunbar Heights community group has been asking for a traffic light in that area for some time, and that was mentioned during the vigil.
The Shawnee community also has rallied around the child and her family through creation of a Facebook page titled, "Praying for Raegan."
Events for Raegan include a garage sale and bake sale this weekend, with all proceeds being donated to a fund set up at BancFirst to help with Raegan's medical expenses.
The garage and bake sale will be 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Trinity Baptist Church, 1315 N. McKinley.
Shawnee police are investigating the hit-and-run accident, which occurred while it was raining about 7:33 p.m. Sept. 26 at Bell and Farrall Streets. The accident report is being turned over the district attorney's office for review.
A witness to the accident followed the alleged suspect vehicle and obtained a tag number for police, which led officers to a 17-year-old driver who has been questioned in the case.
Watch for video of the vigil online at www.news-star.com.