Mola Lenghi, NBC 5 Arlington Reporter
The Nevil family recently moved from Arlington to Tennessee, but when a Thanksgiving crash took Katy Nevil's life and left her 12-year-old daughter Lauren critically injured, her old community came together to help.
People from Arlington to Tennessee are supporting a family coping with great loss after a serious car crash.
Arlington native Katy Nevil was killed while she and her family were traveling to North Texas for Thanksgiving weekend. Her 12-year-old daughter, Lauren, was critically injured in the wreck.
Nevil, who was also traveling with her husband and their 9-year-old son, recently moved to Tennessee from Arlington. Her family's sport utility vehicle crashed into a tree in Arkansas after being hit by another vehicle.
"It still doesn't seem real," said Jimmy Brimson, Nevil's brother. "I'm sure as it hits, it will get harder."
"Thanksgivings will never be the same again," he said..
Students at Duff Elementary School, which the Nevil children attended school when they lived in Arlington, have responded as if they have lost a family member.
"Katy was here tutoring, subbing, doing all kinds of things -- involved with the parties and extracurricular activities and all the things the kids were involved with when they were here at Duff," Principal Cindy Harbison said.
Sixth-grader Julia Espino and her mother have started making and selling bracelets to raise money for the Nevil family.
Fellow sixth-grader Sam Richardson, who was in Lauren Nevil's third- and fourth-grade classes, started the Nickels for the Nevils drive to help raise funds for the family.
"My parents talked to me about what happened, and I just wanted to help," he said. "I thought, 'What if I lost my mom?' I'd be really sad."
"He said, 'Mom, we have to do something. We have to help them,'" said his mother, Amy Richardson. "Besides prayer, everyone feels helpless. There's not a lot you can do to help. But this gives everyone and the kids a way to help and be supportive."
And the support has inspired others.
"We've been overwhelmed so far -- not only people at Duff, but other schools, want to donate," Amy Richardson said. "I took a jar to my salon today, and they want to donate."
"The students are thinking of others and not just talking about it, but putting it into practice," Harbison said. "They really are building relationships that go beyond the classroom."
The support has spread from North Texas to Tennessee and from a few classrooms to thousands of people on the Facebook page Praying for the Nevils.
By Tuesday evening, the page had more than 4,300 likes. The family posts regular updates on Lauren Nevil, who remains in critical condition.
"I'll go through and read, and it's nice to see prayers from Oregon, prayers from Tennessee, prayers from Oklahoma, prayers from Alabama, prayers from California," Brimson said.
He said the page is uplifting.
"It's nice to have so many prayers flowing for Katy and Lauren," he said. "I'm thankful that I had such a great sister and she'll live on. We'll get through this as a family."
"Katy was an incredible mother," Brimson said. "She had a special soul and kind heart and her love was unconditional. She had more best friends than anyone I've known because that's how she made you feel -- she made you feel like you were her best friend."
A fund has been established to assist the family with finances. Donations to the Nevil Family Fund can be made payable to Steve Nevil through Southwest Bank at 3641 Matlock Road in Arlington.
More: Praying for the Nevils