KINGMAN - Her presence in the lives of others and her place on the Kingman High girls swim team departed as a result of a tragic accident on Route 66 east of Kingman Tuesday. Junior Allissa Buchanan, 16, passed at the scene of the crash.
Freshman Amanda Workman said she had just recently become friends with Allissa and Raina Gentry, who was riding in the 1990 Ford Bronco with Allissa and is recovering at Sunrise Medical Center in Las Vegas. Reports indicate that Raina has been wakened from an induced coma and has shown alertness in her eyes.
"When the season began, we became good friends," Workman said. "We started hanging out more and were roommates when we stayed at hotels. We became good friends."
Allissa was one of those kids who seemed to naturally lift the spirits of those around her.
"Allissa was never mad," Workman said. "She was always happy and cheerful, and no one could be sad around her. She always made the day good."
Senior captain Mariah Moon confirmed Workman's sentiments.
"Allissa was real excited about everything all the time," Moon said. "She was always smiling, even at our 5 in the morning practices.
"She was optimistic and ready to brighten everyone's day."
Moon has chosen to remember the last time she and Allissa spoke to each other on the day before the accident. Moon said she drives home after practice and before school with wet hair and her swimsuit on. Allissa had expressed shock at that.
"She said she would be embarrassed if she would be pulled over dressed like that," Moon said. "She made me laugh and that's what I want to remember."
Moon has been on the team with Raina the past three years and believes Raina's character will pull her through the difficult stretch she faces.
"I just think Raina's strong enough to pull through," Moon said. "She's improved so much over the last three years in swimming. She was pretty inexperienced when she started, but she really improved. I know she has it in her and I hope she gets better."
The KHS swim team postponed Wednesday's meet, and a tentative date of Oct. 19 is being discussed. The Bulldogs plan to jump back into the pool next Wednesday at 3:45 p.m. against Glendale Deer Valley at the Del Webb Fitness Center. Moon said the team has begun to make plans to dedicate the Deer Valley meet to their missing teammates.
"It's tough for everyone," Moon said. "I think that they both would want us to be strong. We're trying our hardest to stick to our routines. Hopefully, it'll be a good meet and we'll do it for them."