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De Soto community holds balloon release to honor 13-year-old killed while riding bicycle

By Emily Rittman

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    DE SOTO, Kansas (KCTV) — According to the Johnson County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office, a 13-year-old succumbed to injuries after she was killed in a tragic accident while riding a bicycle.

On Monday, Jaslene Galindo’s family members, friends and classmates gathered at the De Soto High School football field to share memories of her.

Several of her relatives thanked their community for supporting them as they grieve.

“She was my best friend. We went through a lot together,” friend Dayanara Gonzalez said. “I think the reason we became so close is because we understood each other in ways other people couldn’t.”

Several classmates spoke before the balloon release.

“She was always laughing,” friend Braelyn Billinger said. “You could never look at her without seeing a smile on her face or cracking a joke.”

Investigators say they were called around 6:00 p.m. on Friday, June 3rd, to an accident near Lexington Avenue and Wea Street. A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said a preliminary investigation found a 13-year-old who was riding a bicycle was unable to stop at a stop sign and collided with a trailer pulled by a pick-up truck. Investigators determined the collision was an accident. No foul play is suspected.

“She was the person you would go to if you were sad or just needed a laugh,” friend Shaylee Christian said.

The Lexington Trails Middle School opened Monday to give students a place to gather to process and share memories of their friend with one another.

“She was a wonderful student,” teacher Shelby Stufflebean said. “Bright, smart, kind and caring. Very loved by staff and students alike.”

Stufflebean says many community members want to be there to show support for Galindo’s family.

“If they need anything, we are there for them,” Stufflebean said.

A counselor was available for anyone who wanted to speak with them.

“We all wanted to come to represent our friend. She was always there for us,” friend Ian Rocha said. “She really did mean a lot to all of us. She won’t be forgotten.”

Around 3:30 Monday afternoon, the crowd of classmates released balloons into the air.

“In honor of Jaslene,” friend Addison Bradley said. “We want everyone to know she was an important person.”

Friends of the family have created a GoFundMe account for Galindo’s family.

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