Charlene Sipes was just 60 metres from her home on what was to be her ninth birthday when she sustained a fatal injury after crashing her bicycle.
Charlene, affectionately known as Charlie, fell from her bike while riding in a rural neighbourhood near Hodgenville in Kentucky on Tuesday (local time), local news site WDRB reported.
The Year 3 student was found by her mother after the handlebar brake fatally struck her in the neck as she fell to the ground, according to LaRue County Sheriff Russell McCoy.
He labelled her death the result of a “freak accident”, saying it had affected the entire community as well as his officers.
The school Charlie attended, Hodgenville's Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, was praised for its actions in the wake of the “charming” student’s death.
Principal Crystal Wilkerson released a statement explaining extra support had been brought in to help students as they grieved the loss of their classmate.
“Charlie was a charming, caring student who was loved by her teachers and her peers. This is a terrible loss for everyone who knew her,” Ms Wilkerson wrote.
“Our crisis team has arranged resources and support for our students, staff and families as we cope with this loss.
“We ask that members of the community keep the Sipes family, as well as the teachers and students who are grieving close to your heart.”
Charlie leaves behind three brothers, a sister, mum Tiffany Fischer and dad John Sipes, who requested that attendees of her funeral wear bright colours instead of black.
A friend established a GoFundMe account to alleviate the financial strain as the family mourned their loss.
In a post to Facebook, Ms Fischer expressed her gratitude for the support she and her husband had received from the community.
“I am so so grateful that Charlie was loved so much. That she will be remembered and loved and missed for years and years to come. She hung the stars, that girl,” she wrote.
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