*Sunday 4pm – WataugaRoads.com has learned that many local EMS officials will be wearing pink Badge of Honor ribbons the next couple of days in support of the Townsend family and in remembrance of Peyton Townsend. Continued thoughts/prayers to the Townsend family, all the EMS workers, Mt Paran Baptist Church, and all the other children that were present during Friday’s tragic accident.*
The High Country is mourning the loss of a 4 year old girl killed by a tragic accident on Friday night.
The accident happen as bible school was about to begin at Mt. Paran Baptist Church in Deep Gap. According to reports the children were playing in the cemetery as the kids were sitting on and near one particular headstone, a cross-shaped slab slid off the base and fell onto the child, causing a severe head injury, according to the Watauga Democrat.
Pastor Rick Cornejo told the paper his brother-in-law and 16-year-old grandson managed to move the child from beneath the stone, which rescuers estimated weighed more than 1,000 pounds and was about five feet tall.
A Wings Air Rescue helicopter landed in a field off Cowboy Trail to shuttle the child to Johnson City Medical Center in Tennessee, but efforts to save the girl were unsuccessful.
The child has been identified as Peyton Townsend, a daughter of Randall and Sarah Townsend. Randall is a Watauga County native and is a State Highway Patrolman for the area.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Austin & Barnes Funeral Home in Boone, with the funeral taking place Monday night at 6pm. Online obituary can be found here.