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Family and friends remember MaKayla Ross with a candle light vigil

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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FORT PAYNE, Ala. (WAFF) - Family and friends are remembering the life of MaKayla Ross in Fort Payne.

She drowned on Saturday after floodwaters swept her vehicle off the road.

Fort Payne Police say they were near the Mapco Station in Fort Payne when they noticed a white car in the water up against a bridge. The white car was Ross’s and she was inside.

Officers attempted to get Ross out of the car before it became submerged in rising water. Fort Payne Police and the Fischer Swift Water Rescue Teams found her body on Sunday morning. Officials said Ross was leaving work from Santa Fe Cattle Company before the incident happened.

To help with closure and celebrate her legacy, dozens of Ross’s family and friends gathered at Fort Payne City Park.

Family and friends shared sweet memories of Ross, including how they are thankful for all of the efforts made by first responders to help rescue her.

“We know that every time an officer or emergency personnel put their uniform on, they put their life on the line, but that night they put their life on the line for our blood,” said Cera Gifford, Ross’s cousin.

“It’s like they we weren’t in that car with her but they put their life on the line for us as well and they fought hard to get her. They worked really hard, so we want to thank them for all of that to do what they could,” said Hanna Shadrick, Ross’s sister-in-law.

The company released this statement that reads quote:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Family of MaKayla Ross. She was a beloved team member. Our entire staff is mourning. It is such a tragic loss. Makayla was a bright, energetic, and compassionate person. Makayla’s work ethic positive energy and caring nature will forever leave a mark on our Santa Fe Family. We will never forget her. At this time, we ask for thoughts and prayers or the family and our staff. Thank you.

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