Kaylee Rice Laid to Rest; Mother Unable to Attend Service

By: Meagan O'Halloran Email
By: Meagan O'Halloran Email

A Panama City Beach girl was laid to rest Saturday, and hundreds showed up to pay their respects--all except one; her mother, who was not allowed to attend the service.

Police say 35-year old Courtney Coughlin led authorities on a chase that ended in a crash that killed her 12-year old daughter Kaylee.

Friends and family honored Kaylee in a memorial service at the Woodlawn United Methodist Church on Alf Coleman Road.

Kaylee Rice had the whole world ahead of her, now she is sorely missed.

"It's just really hard to deal with right now" says Kaylee's friend, Scarlet Munov.

"It's hard to lose a friend" adds classmate Emily Wilson.

For many, it's their first experience with grief.

Micah Granger is wearing part of a friendship necklace. Kaylee, also known by many as "KK", used to wear the other half.

"She was really a happy person, just made you feel great all around and really made you smile and laugh" says Granger.

That's how all of her friends remember her.

"She was always a bright, nice, sweet, happy girl."

It's a tragedy that tugs at your heartstrings, a family torn apart, and a little girl who never got the chance to grow up.

"I think she'd be pretty responsible, pretty wise" says Wilson.

Lynn Haven Police were trying to arrest Kaylee's mother on fraud charges before the accident occurred. Courtney Coughlin is being held without bond on dozens of charges, including several related to the crash that killed Kaylee.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking contributions be made to the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, at 5151 N. 9th Avenue in Pensacola.


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