Family and friends are mourning the loss of 11-year-old Christina Atkins, who was killed in an ATV accident Friday evening.
At 6:34 p.m. on Friday, McDowell County EMS, McDowell Emergency Management, Hankins-North Fork Fire Department, and McDowell Rescue Squad responded to Linville Road, off Lake James Road for a reported ATV accident. Christina was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS paramedics. No one else was injured in the accident. The accident occurred in a remote area off Linville Road. Emergency responders utilized all-terrain vehicles and sport utility vehicles to reach the scene. McDowell County Sheriff’s Office is the investigating agency, according to Emergency Services Director William Kehler.
Christina lived in the North Cove community of McDowell and was a sixth-grade student at West McDowell Middle School. She was the daughter of Scott and Carrie Atkins. She had a sister Crystal and a half-brother Marcus Chapman, according to the Rev. Kent Smith, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Marion.
The Atkins family attends First United Methodist.
Smith and some of the members of the church were with the Atkins family Friday evening to help them through this tragedy. Christina had gone to spend the night with a friend of hers.
“It was the first chance for them to have a slumber party,” said Smith.
Christina had attended North Cove Elementary and was most recently a sixth-grader at West Middle School. She would have turned 12 in June.
Smith said that Christina recently discovered a passion for softball after making a New Year’s resolution.
“She was a bright, energetic sixth-grader who showed great signs of promise academically and socially,” said her pastor. “She inherited her mother’s love for animals of all sizes.”
The pastor said the tragedy “is just hard to fathom.”
News of Christina’s death quickly spread Friday night through the local community. Already a Facebook page called “RIP Christina Atkins” is asking folks to wear pink on Monday in her memory.
“I am going to am going to miss you so much,” Makayla Franklin wrote on Christina’s Facebook page. “Thank you for always being a sweet kind friend. I will never forget how kind you always were toward me. God truly gained an angel.”