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Missoula girl dies in ATV crash

Posted at 8:33 AM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 11:04:00-05

MISSOULA - An 8-year-old Missoula girl was killed in an ATV accident while visiting her grandparents in Geraldine.

She was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries Friday.

An online obituary says Ahnika Clark was a third-grade student at Hawthorne Elementary School.

Parents at the school were notified by email and the school will have counselors available for students when classes resume Monday.

Principal Becky Sorenson sent out the following suggestions to remember when helping children grieve, including:

  • Give children the opportunity to tell their story and be a good listener.
  • Allow adequate time for each child to grieve in the manner that works for that child as pressing children to resume “normal” activities may prompt additional problems or negative reactions.
  • Help all children, regardless of age, to understand loss and death.
  • Don’t assume children always grieve in an orderly or predictable way, as there is no right way to grieve.
  • Let children know that you really want to understand what they are feeling or what they need.
  • Children will need long-lasting support: The more losses the child or adolescent suffers, the more difficult it will be to recover.

The family is holding a celebration of life for Ahnika on Friday, Jan. 3 at the Orchard Homes community center on South 3rd Street in Missoula.