Principal Sara Michelena can't believe memories are all that's left of a life just at its beginning.
"She was just an absolute doll. Just a bright light, sweet, sweet little girl, lots of spunk and just a fun little girl," she said.
"Absolute devastation. It's just an unthinkable thing to have happen," she said.
The life of Denair kindergartner Elliana Davila was ended, investigators say, by the person who should have been her fiercest protector -- her mother.
Relatives at the 6-year-old's home would not comment Monday about the DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter arrest of Angelica Castellanos-Davila following a crash on a stretch of road in Modesto.
CHP officers say the 27-year-old was speeding southbound down Albers Road around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when she ran off the pavement just before Milnes and hit a power pole.
According to officers, that flipped her Hyundai several times, throwing little Elliana from the car to her death.
The child hadn't been buckled in properly.
"What a sad thing to have happen to someone so young. I have a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old -- very sad," said Ken Prine.
Prine had the luxury of enjoying a game of catch with his 8-year-old on a Monday night.
He didn't know the Davilas and can't imagine the pain and confusion of what's happened to a fellow family from the place where his wife teaches and his own little one attends, Denair Elementary Charter School.
"Don't want to speculate too much on what happened or what didn't happen. For that family, it's very tragic," he said.
Eight-year-old Kaden will get to enjoy another day of what he likes best about his blended school.
"We're all combined, and we get to play with our friends that we didn't get to last year," he said smiling.
Elliana won't make it to third-grade like Kayden, and it's up to the CHP to piece together why that had to happen.
Bail for her mother has been set at $10,000.
As of 10 p.m. January 11th, a GoFundMe page had raised almost $6,000 to cover burial expenses for the little girl.
Grief counselors were at her school campus Monday to help her classmates and teachers cope with what's happened.
This has been a very sad school year for the Denair Elementary Charter School community.
Before Elliana's death, a beloved fourth-grade teacher suddenly died of a heart attack and a student lost her home to a tornado.