Remembering Katie Sherrod

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By Fanna Haile-Selassie
By Jared Roberts

HARRISBURG -- Many people in Harrisburg are mourning the loss of 18-year-old Machaela Sherrod. The newlywed died Sunday afternoon in a single vehicle crash, just south of Carrier Mills.

The day was supposed to be the start of a new life for Sherrod, who is known as Katie. She said "I do" to her fiance 22-year-old John Gould on Saturday, but less than 24 hours later that dream was ripped apart. 

 The crash happened on a stretch of Tuller Road, about a half-mile south of Carrier Mills. Illinois State Police say for some unknown reason, Katie drove off the road and flipped down an embankment. She died at the scene, and her husband was flown to an Evansville hospital for treatment.  
 
"We're just all in stunned, really. Anytime you lose a student, you just think of all the possibilities and you remember all the wonderful things that happened with them," explains Katie's former art teacher Sara Deneal.
 
She says Katie was the type of student every teacher wanted in their classroom. She didn't join any clubs while in school, but had a passion for art. Then she got engaged to John and couldn't stop smiling. 
 
Deneal explains, "She even invited me to her wedding, and she was just so excited about that. And I met him, hopefully, he's going to be okay. But I know he was head over heels in love with her."
 
Breonna Irvin is a friend and former coworker of Katie's at the Harrisburg Burger King. 
 
"John tried his best. I talked to his grandparents today up here, he tried his best to save her," she says.
 
Irvin says Katie was an all-around good girl, who didn't deserve to die so young.  
 
"I know Katie is in a better place. She believed in God and she got married at 18," explains Irvin. "She wanted to live a right life, and I think she's okay." 
 
Irvin says according to John's grandparents, he is doing okay physically, but emotionally, he is having a lot of trouble.
 
If you'd like to help Katie's family, they've started a GoFundMe site to help pay for her funeral. You can find information HERE
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