Family members said 5-year-old Zenavia Rennie was pronounced dead at HCMC on Thursday after being pulled from a submerged car in St. Louis Park. Compounding the tragedy, she had recently been named the star student of the week for her performance at the Odyssey Academy, where she attended kindergarten.
Late Thursday night, Fox 9 News also confirmed that 7-year-old Alarious Coleman-Guerrido has died.
"Absolutely shocked," said John Sedey, executive director of Odyssey Academy. "You hear about these things happening, but you never think it's something that's going to happen to you."
5 children were submerged in the retention pond at Highway 7 and Highway 100 for dozens of minutes.
The halls of the school were subdued on Thursday, and several classrooms were left emptier by the crash. Four of the crash victims are enrolled there.
"You know you are special to them. You make a real difference to them, and the feeling is vice versa," Sedey said.
Laura Montray taught 5-year-old kindergartner Amani Coleman-Guerrido and his older brother, Alarious.
"It's been a rough afternoon," she admitted.
Just this week, the boys' sister, Zenavia, told her classmates about herself and was named the star student of the week.
"It's been hard to reign it in for the afternoon, try to carry on with the children," Montray said.
Montray told Fox 9 News Marion Guerrido is very involved with her children and their education.
"She's fantastic, very into her kids and how they are progressing," Montray said.
Officials at the school say they want to help the family, and want them to know the entire Odyssey family is supporting them.
"Marion, we're all praying for you," Montray said. "We hope that everything turns out okay."
"We've got 362 students. Their parents, their families are obviously just devastated and share their grief but also want them to know they've got our thoughts and prayers," Sedey echoed.
Officials have not yet confirmed the relationship between the 23-year-old driver, Marion Guerrido, and the five children that were in her car, but family members she was mother to Alarious and Amani as well as 1-year-old Aliyana Rennie. Her boyfriend fathered Zenavia, Zarihana and Aliyana.
STATUS OF OTHER CRASH VICTIMS
Marion Guerrido, 23: No apparent injury
Aliyana Rennie, 1: Serious injury
Zarihana Rennie, 6: Serious injury
Amani Coleman-Guerrido, 5: Serious injury
All the children were said to have sustained serious injuries and spent between 25-45 minutes submerged in about 10 feet of cold water, according to officials. The three surviving children are now in intensive care.
Lt. Eric Roeske, of the Minnesota State Patrol, said the crash, which occurred at about 6:10 a.m. off the ramp to Highway 100, did not appear intentional and alcohol did not appear to be a factor.
Family members said they did not know where Guerrido would have been going at that time.