Hundreds gather for candlelight vigil to remember Butler High School student
Family and friends mourn after Madelynn Troutt, 17, was killed in a crash on Dixie Highway
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The South Louisville community is hurting after a crash on Dixie Highway killed a Butler High School student Monday.
Madelynn Troutt, 17, was a senior at Butler and a cheerleader with her entire life ahead of her.
“She was special,” Alyssa Walsh, who cheered with the teen when she was a senior and Madelynn Troutt was a freshman, told WAVE 3 News. “She was everything you would want a teammate to be, a student, a friend.”
Friends and family described Madelynn Troutt as a teen with a memorable smile and a contagious laugh.
“She walked into the room and lit the whole room up with her smile, her bubbly laugh,” Walsh said, “so contagious.”
Madelynn Troutt was driving in the 7800 block of Dixie Highway Monday night when a truck hit her head on.
Investigators found that 27-year-old Michael Dewitt, the suspected driver of the truck, crossed into the southbound lanes and struck Troutt while driving a stolen Ford F-350. He reportedly ran away from the crash without stopping to help the teen after slamming into her.
She was taken to UofL Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Dewitt is facing several charges, including murder.
Tuesday night, hundreds of people gathered in the Butler High School parking lot holding balloons and candles in Madelynn Troutt’s honor.
Tisha Foley, a mother of five, wanted to make sure the Troutt family didn’t grieve alone. She organized the candlelight vigil to create a space for family and friends in South Louisville to gather.
“It’s something I would hope someone would do for, if it was to ever happen to us,” Foley said. “I did not expect this amount of people at all. We ran out of candles. I didn’t expect this.”
Madelynn Troutt’s obituary reveals she was an intern at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital and worked at Chick-fil-A. She was already accepted in Bellarmine University.
Hundreds of people comforted one another Tuesday, trying to process the news that their friend is gone.
“I was hoping it wasn’t true,” Braden Kelly, Madelynn’s co-worker and friend, said.
Kelly started a GoFundMe page Monday night, hours after the crash to help raise money for the family.
“I figured I know my friends and her friends and family and people she doesn’t know will be there to show out,” Kelly said. “So I started it last night at like 12 o’clock and we had already broke the goal an hour later.”
He said Madelynn Troutt was the light in a dark place, anytime anyone needed her.
“Everybody’s met those people you can always count on. Like, ‘Oh I’m having a bad day. I need someone to talk to.’ Madelynn was always that one for me personally and multiple other people,” Kelly said.
As hundreds gathered outside of the high school, family members said a few words to the crowd, thanking them for their support.
“We love y’all, Madelynn loves y’all, and this right here shows the impact she had,” Chris Troutt, Madelynn’s uncle, said to the crowd. “From the bottom of our hearts, we really want to thank y’all so much.”
Chris Troutt said the family is grateful for the first responders who treated her after the crash.
“She left a hole in everybody’s heart,” he said. “She was a senior and had so much more to give. She was truly an inspiration for everybody.”
Madelynn Troutt’s uncle said she wanted to be a nurse because she loved people and always wanted to help those in need.
“Right now Madelynn is looking down on us smiling, proud of what we’re all doing here tonight,” he said.
There are three different ways donations can be made to the Troutt family:
- The Lesley and Rhyan Prather Foundation organized a fundraiser in Madelynn Troutt’s name to help the family. Click or tap here.
- Braden Kelly, Troutt’s co-worker, set up a GoFundMe page. Click or tap here.
- Life Church Louisville has set up a way to donate. Click “Giving” and select “Madelynn” under “Funds.”
A visitation for Madelynn Troutt will be Thursday, March 4, from 2-8 p.m. at Ratterman Keenan Southwest Chapels at 4832 Cane Run Road in Louisville.
The funeral will be Friday at Southeast Christian Church’s Southwest campus at 1 p.m.
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