LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WAAY)-At the end of the school year, 8th graders get to paint their hands prints on a classroom wall as they leave Hatton Middle School. But one spot is on reserve for classmate Alison Martin.
"Most of all, what we've done is we've all been praying because that's the main thing that we can do" said Hatton High School junior Zachary Dutton.
On April 30th, Alison's older sister, 17-year-old Caitlyn Martin, was killed when their Ford Escape was hit by an 18-wheeler on Highway 157 in Hatton about a mile from the school. Almost two weeks later, Alison is still in critical condition at Huntsville Hospital.
Through donations and fundraisers, middle and high school students united to raise around $700 for the Martin family.
"We've all came together and rallied around the Martin family" said Dutton. "We've just all tried to be here for each other because this has been hard for all of us but being together, I think that's helped us."
Students are also donating to Hatton Church of Christ to help build a playground in memory of Caitlyn.
Students at nearby R.A. Hubbard are also showing their support for the Hatton community.
The R.A. Hubbard Chiefs might be rivals with Hatton High School on the playing field, but when the senior class heard about the death of Caitlyn Martin, they wanted show they care.
"We came up with this idea" said R.A. Hubbard senior Keonta Goode. "It's called Chiefs Care and we started writing letters and sending emails to the senators up in Montgomery."
They are writing Senator Paul Bussman and Representative Ken Johnson about the speed limit at the intersection of Hwy 157 and Hwy 101.
In the letters, students claim the caution lights at the intersection are ineffective and the speed limit needs to be lowered from 65 mph to at least 55 mph.
"I was just telling them how I would like to see the speed limit and some traffic lights there to slow the traffic down and to stop all the wrecks" said Goode.
The idea for the letter writing campaign started two days ago in Mrs Posey's precalculus class. Now all 287 students at the school are writing over 500 letters and drawing pictures to send to Montgomery.
"This shows what kind of leaders they are. Once they have an idea and it takes hold, it just spreads like wildfire" said R.A. Hubbard teacher Karen Posey.
Senator Bussman has responded to Goode's email. Bussman says he plans to talk with ALDOT to see what safety improvements can be made at the intersection.
"It will save a lot of people and I feel good about that" says Goode.
The students have also started a petition to reduce the speed limit. It will be posted at several locations throughout Lawrence county.
Donations for the Martin family can be made at any Listerhill Credit Union.