Second sister in Forest Grove crash dies
FOREST GROVE, Ore. - The Multnomah County Medical Examiner said early Tuesday morning that 11-year-old Abigail Robinson died overnight. Robinson and her half-sister, Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, were hit Sunday night by a car that drove off.
Dieter-Eckerdt, 6, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hundreds of people had come together Monday night to share the pain of the family.
Police said they have found the car that hit and killed the sisters.
But at Sonrise Church on Monday night, the focus was on the family. Many people brought candles.
Eleven-year-old Minor held one for his friend and classmate, Abigail. For him and his mother, Stephanie Oppenlander, words were hard to find to express their sadness.
"I think, did I hug my kids today?" Oppenlander said.
More than 300 people came to sing, to cry, to embrace, and to share the burden of a family they know well in school, in band, at the dance studio in town and in the community.
"The family's been a strong part of church and lives for many years," said Sonrise Church Pastor James Gleason. "So we love them. We love them dearly, and we see their faces right now."
The pastors at Sonrise church in Forest Grove have spent hours with the family at the hospital, weeping and praying.
"It's hard to have words," said Pastor Rudy Tinoco. "I would say even my own faith is challenged in face of such tragedy. I mean, we know God is in control, so why does this happen?"
But they said the family has faith and even forgiveness for the person who drove that car and drove away. For that person, Tinoco has words as well.
"What I would really want to communicate as a pastor: God loves you in spite of this stupidity or this accident. Let that conviction move you to do the right thing and step forward to bring closure to the family," he said.
The pastors said people have been calling the church to ask how they can help the family. So the church set up a fund through Columbia Community Bank: The Deiter-Robinson Fund. And the church itself is also accepting donations for the family.