EDMORE — Montabella High School’s class of 2014 is scheduled to graduate on June 1.
And Tifennie Haddix’s friends have no doubt she will be among those walking across the stage, despite this week’s hardship.
Haddix, 17, is a senior at Montabella High School. She was driving to school around 8:30 a.m. Thursday, when she lost control of her Jeep and crashed into a tree at North Sheridan Road and East Edgar Road between Belvidere Township and Home Township.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene to extricate Haddix from her vehicle, including officials from the Belvidere Township Fire Department, Day Township Fire Department, Edmore Police Department, Home Township Fire Department and Police Department, Michigan State Police, Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, Montcalm County Emergency Services and AeroMed.
Haddix is currently at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Her condition was not available as of press time Friday night.
Shawnna Ripley and Brittney Sadler, both 18 and both seniors at Montabella High School, were called into the school office to hear the upsetting news Thursday morning.
Sadler, who says Haddix is her best friend, is optimistic about the future.
“She’ll pull through,” Sadler said confidently. “I know her.”
While they are waiting and praying for the best, Ripley, Sadler and some others decided to organize a fundraiser to help Haddix and her family with medical bills. The group is going to sell T-shirts and rubber bracelets and they are also collecting pop cans.
Anyone who wants to participate in the community fundraiser can drop off pop cans or donations at Sadler’s Great Outdoors on M-46 in Six Lakes, which is owned by Sadler’s parents, Jamey and Lori Sadler.
Haddix’s friends describe her as a petite, stubborn sweetheart who is “obsessed” with One Direction.
“She’s so tiny you would think she’d be shy, but really she’s so outgoing,” Sadler said. “She’s friends with anyone and everyone. She’s just an overall great person.”
“She’s really upbeat and outgoing,” Ripley added. “She doesn’t ever hold anything against anybody. She does everything in her willpower to make everybody smile. She’s just an amazing person.”
Ripley said she knows how stressful it can be driving back and forth between home and hospital, as her younger brother was hospitalized for a long time during his childhood.
“I figure it’s my time to return the favor,” Ripley said. “For a small town, we’re pulling together a lot, we’re sticking together and helping out. Even towns around us are starting to help out.”
Montabella Community Schools Superintendent Shelly Millis said Haddix has been a longtime student at Montabella and her family is involved in the community.
“In the time that I have had the opportunity to be part of the Montabella community, I have experienced countless examples of their generosity and togetherness,” Millis said. “This unfortunate situation shows once again how the community will pull together to support each other in a time of need. The Montabella community will continue to have the family in our thoughts as they work through this difficult situation.”
Haddix’s friends continue to think positive thoughts about her recovery. They are still envisioning walking together across the stage during graduation … “even if we have to carry her,” Ripley declared.
Call Sadler’s Great Outdoors in Six Lakes at (989) 365-9559 for more information about the community fundraiser for Haddix.