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Community gathers to remember 11-year-old girl killed in head-on crash

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 07, 2022

EL MIRAGE — A group gathered in El Mirage to remember an 11-year-old girl killed in a crash. A passenger in another car, police say, is accused of causing the wreck.

As friends and family walked into LifeSpring Church, the first things they saw were pictures on a table. Many of the frames holding the image of Ariana Gannon, who was killed in the crash Wednesday.

"We are spent. If we are spent, you must know how the family feels. Our emotions are just going up and down and every which way,” said LifeSpring Church Pastor Barry Sappington.

He says the father of Gannon and the two other young girls hospitalized after the crash is also a pastor.

"We've been friends for many years. What he brought and what we bring is just a really close-knit family unit,” added Pastor Sappington.

Thursday night, grief overcame those attending the vigil.

"They are in shock. There is a lot of crying, they see each other and are hugging each other while crying. They are a tight-group family. They really are tight,” said Joe Gomez.

Gannon and her two sisters were in a car, with a church leader behind the wheel, when they were hit head-on by a pick-up truck.

Police say the passenger in that truck, Adrian Ballesteros, had grabbed the steering wheel as he and his girlfriend were arguing. Police say that made the truck cross the median and slam into the car with Ariana and others.

"We are just in complete shock. It's just a nightmare. That's what it has been. An absolute nightmare,” said Anita Ramirez.

Ramirez is the sister of the woman who was driving the car with the young girls.

"They are all devastated. They are all very close. They've always been very close. They do everything together. They are such amazing kids,” added Ramirez.

As for Ballesteros, he’s since been arrested and faces manslaughter charges.