'Everyone loved her'

OL-Hometown mourns death of Kaylah Lentine

(From May 31, 2012)

The Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 community is mourning the passing of a popular student whose life was cut short less than a week before she was to graduate from eighth grade.

Kaylah Lentine, 14, of Hometown, died last Friday afternoon from multiple injuries stemming from a motor vehicle accident, according to the office of the Cook County medical examiner's office. District 123 held a moment of silence to honor Kaylah at Wednesday's eighth-grade commencement, and presented Kaylah's diploma to her family.

Kaylah was walking to school last Thursday when she was stuck by a pickup around 8:13 a.m. near the intersection of 93rdStreet/ Southwest Highway and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn, according to police. The Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School student was crossing Southwest Highway south just west of Cicero, police said.

Kaylah enjoyed music and was known as a talented artist and strong writer, said Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School Principal Paul Enderle. She was slated to receive a student leadership award the morning of her accident for her involvement in SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), in which she had assumed an active leadership role.

"She was a natural born mediator," said Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School French teacher Diane Merenda, Kaylah's homeroom teacher and declamation team coach. "She had a peaceful, discerning way of looking at things. She was very interesting to talk to.

"I don't mean to use a clich