An aspiring Christian teen singer, her father and grandmother passed away last Sunday after a pickup truck smashed into their vehicle after they hit a deer in Indiana.
Sophie Rinehart, 17, her sister Josie, 18, their father David, 46, and his mother Ruth, 74, were travelling on Interstate 69 in Greene County around 4 a.m. when they rammed into a deer. They were returning home to Newburgh after Sophie performed at the Bands of America Grand National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, according to The Evansville Courier & Press.
David, who was driving the vehicle, pulled over the family's Honda Civic after the collision. But shortly after, a Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck driven by 19-year-old Mason Hartkey rammed into the family's stopped car, killing David, Sophie, and Ruth.
Josie suffered from cuts and abrasions and received treatment at the Indiana University Health Hospital.
The police are now investigating the Rineharts' deaths.
Meanwhile, Mark Eifler, the head director of the Castle High School marching band which Sophie belonged to, was "devastated" by her death.
"They are very much a family. I know they're devastated. She didn't meet anybody that wasn't immediately her friend. The kids adored her," Eifler said.
Sophie "mesmerised the crowd" during her final performance, said Eifler, adding that "it was just so incredibly special."
As for Warrick County School Crop Superintendent Brad Schneider, he said the Rineharts' deaths is a "very, very sad day for all of us."
Patrick Garcia, the lead pastor at Crossroads Christian Church where David worked as the arts academy director, expressed his grief on the church's Facebook page. "There are no words to describe the pain and shock we all feel," he said. "This is one of those moments in life that is extremely difficult to understand. We can take comfort knowing that David, Sophie, and Ruth Ann are currently experiencing the joy of Jesus' presence for eternity."