Sarah Fleming will be remembered for her love of children and animals, her warm and welcoming personality and her infectious smile.
Fleming died in a car accident south of Ennis early Saturday morning. She was 22.
She haled from Colorado and had lived in Ennis since the first of the year, but in that short time had made an indelible impact on the community, said Sara Vicknair-Racine, director of the Ennis Community Children’s School where Fleming worked.
“From the first moment I met her, I knew I wanted her to work here,” Vicknair-Racine said.
What made Fleming special was her unique and bubbly personality, she said.
“I think kids are just drawn to genuine people and she was just one of those,” Vicknair-Racine said.
Fleming was the passenger in a southbound pickup early Saturday morning. The male driver of the pickup lost control after he passed a semi truck, said Madison County Sheriff David Schenk. Fleming was pronounced dead at the scene and the male was transported to the Madison Valley Medical Center and then to medical facilities in Billings.
The accident is still under investigation and no charges have been filed. Alcohol was involved, Schenk said.
Fleming had a way of making people laugh just with a smile, said Kaitlyn Scheidemann, a board member for the children’s school.
She had a gentle heart and spirit, which shined when she worked with children and animals, Scheidemann said. The children at the school were able to connect with Fleming in a special way.
Beyond her work at the children’s school, Fleming was passionate about rodeo and horses. She toured around southwest Montana this past summer competing in several rodeos, she said.
Fleming also enjoyed teaching people how to ride horses and was hoping to open an equestrian center for kids with special needs, Scheidemann said.
The Ennis Community Children’s School was closed Monday while staff and board members contacted all of the students’ parents to inform them of Fleming’s death, Vicknair-Racine said. The school will also work with Ennis School District counselor Roberta McKay to help kids and family process the tragedy.
The school opened again on Tuesday.
According to Fleming’s obituary announcement, funeral services will take place in her hometown of Craig, Colo. on Friday.