NewsLocal News


Friends hold vigil for Billings girl killed in crash

Posted at 11:08 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 13:16:55-05

A teacher at Christine Croft's church put out the word to a small group about a candlelight vigil a day after her death, and it turned out to be much more, with dozens of school mates also showing up.

They held the vigil in an MSU Billings parking lot, about 25 yards from the intersection of Virginia Lane and Rimrock Road, where Croft, 16, was killed in a two-car crash Tuesday.

Vigil 2.jpg

Croft died when a pickup truck hit the car she was driving.

Scott Birkeland, seminary teacher at the LDS Church, said he expected about 20 from the church class, but more than 100 showed up to honor Croft.

Scott Birkeland.jpg
Scott Birkeland

"What it turned out was something much bigger much more than what I can ever imagine," Birkeland said. "And I was not expecting most of these people to come. But it just goes to show me the love that they have for not only Christine but their fellow man. And it's awesome that they're all here to show up supporting up the Croft family."

Khage Kershaw.jpg
Khage Kershaw

"She was one of my best friends," said Khage Kershaw, who knew Croft at church and at school. "And just hearing about it, I burst into tears. But I know that she's okay. And I know that her family will be okay too."

They hope the group left with some inspiring words.

"You will be just fine," Birkeland said. "You will be fine and that's that's my message: to let her life live on through your example."

"I'm a very hopeful person and very optimistic," Kershaw said. "And I have faith that they will be okay. Anytime to struggle. Keep holding on. And don't let go."

"The fact that you're no longer here will always cause me pain," one of Croft's friends read from a poem. "But you're forever in my heart until we meet again."

One of the men from the Crofts' church told the group how much this turnout mean to the family.

They also had some prayer, a moment of silence and some of the students and friends talked about Croft.

When it was over, some stayed around to be with each other and comfort each other.