NewsMontana and Regional News


Young girl dies in ATV crash near Geraldine

Ahnika Clark was a third-grade student at Hawthorne Elementary School
Posted at 9:15 AM, Dec 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-31 19:46:57-05

MISSOULA — An 8-year-old Missoula girl died in an ATV accident while visiting her grandparents in Geraldine in Chouteau County.

She was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries on Friday.

An on-line obituary says Ahnika Clark was a third-grade student at Hawthorne Elementary School in Missoula.

Parents at the school were notified via email and the school will have counselors available for students when classes resume on Monday.

Principal Becky Sorenson sent out the following suggestions to remember when helping children grieve, including:

  • Give children the opportunity to tell their story and be a good listener.
  • Allow adequate time for each child to grieve in the manner that works for that child as pressing children to resume “normal” activities may prompt additional problems or negative reactions.
  • Help all children, regardless of age, to understand loss and death.
  • Don’t assume children always grieve in an orderly or predictable way, as there is no right way to grieve.
  • Let children know that you really want to understand what they are feeling or what they need.
  • Children will need long-lasting support: The more losses the child or adolescent suffers, the more difficult it will be to recover.

Details of the ATV accident have not been disclosed.

The family is hosting a celebration of life for Ahnika on Friday, January 3 at the Orchard Homes community center on South 3rd Street in Missoula. Viewing will be held on Saturday, January 4, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Benton Funeral Home Chapel in Fort Benton, followed by a graveside service at 1:30 p.m. at the Geraldine Cemetery.