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Florida Vacation Takes Horrific Turn for Kentucky Family

2 children killed while playing mini-golf in Panama City Beach on Friday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2020 3:21 PM CST

(Newser) – A Friday family outing to a miniature golf course in Panama City Beach, Florida, ended in unexpected tragedy. NBC News reports a 4-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl died after a truck drove onto the course. The AP reports Scott Donaldson allegedly veered off the road and onto the Coconut Creek Golf and Maze while behind the wheel of his 2007 Chevrolet Silverado, striking the children. Police say the boy died at the scene; while his sister died at a hospital. The family was in town from Louisville, Kentucky, and People reports a GoFundMe campaign set up for the family identifies the children as Addie and Baylor Kirchgessner. It has raised more than $135,000 as of this writing.

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Panama City Beach's head of communications says the deaths have "rattled" the community. "We cannot begin to imagine the family’s pain at the loss of both of their children, who were just beginning their young lives," Debbie Ward continues in a statement to the Miami Herald. "There has been a huge outpouring of compassion and support for the family from the local community. The police department has assigned an officer to the family and provided clergy for support. Grief counselors have also provided support to both the family and our first responders who were on scene Friday. Our prayers continue to be with the family and friends of all those involved." The facility closed on Saturday and posted this on Facebook: "'Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.' Matthew 5:4." Charges are pending. (Read more Florida stories.)

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