It was a sad first day back to school for some students in Limestone County on Monday.
Family and friends are now remembering 16-year-old Maria Holt, who died when her car ran off the road and hit a tree on Parker Road Saturday night.
WAAY 31 spoke with Maria’s parents about how difficult the first day of school was for their family.
“Her mother had taken her school shopping and she got some new clothes," James Holt said. "As a matter of fact, one of the outfits she bought, some of the pants, I think, we’re going to use that for her to be buried in.”
While other parents took their children back to school on Monday, James and Annie Holt planned their daughter’s funeral.
“It’s terrible because I wish we could be sending her to school," James said. "I wish I could be calling to check on her to see if she’s home or how her day was.”
The Holts said their 16-year-old daughter, Maria, was loved by many.
“She was just full of life and always had a smile on her face. She was smiling everywhere she went. You couldn’t be sad if you were around her," James said.
James said he and his daughter enjoyed riding motorcycles together, but he admitted that Maria was a "mama's girl."
“We did everything together," he said. "She was the boy I didn’t have. She was our only daughter. She was our world. She was our everything.”
Annie Holt told WAAY 31 that Maria was her world and she loved her daughter with her whole heart.
After losing Maria in a car accident Saturday night—just two days before school started back—the Holts now have a word of advice for other parents.
“Cherish and love your kids every second, every moment, because you don’t know when the last one is going to be," James said. "You don’t know when you’re going to get that last phone call, last text, or last hug.”
The Holts said they take comfort in knowing Maria was happy when she died.
“She lived life to the fullest, up to the last second, and that’s what I’m most thankful for," James said. "Her whole sixteen years, she lived life to the fullest and she didn’t let anything stop her.”
Maria would've started her sophomore year at Elkmont High School on Monday. She was a student at Clements High before transferring last year.
She was the second Limestone County teen to die the week before school started back.
14-year-old Addie Baker was killed in a UTV accident last Wednesday. She would’ve been a freshman at Clements High School.
Extra counselors were at Clements High on Monday for any students who were struggling with the loss.
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