MADISON, Ala. - Loved ones from Tennessee to the Tennessee Valley are mourning the loss of 29-year-old Elise Denton.
She died Sunday in a fatal hit-and-run in Smyrna, Tennessee, a suburb southeast of Nashville. Police said she was driving her scooter when a pickup truck struck the back of it. She was thrown from the scooter and hit by another vehicle. The driver of the truck reportedly left the scene.
Visitation is set for July 16 from 1-3 p.m. at Legacy Chapel Funeral Home, located at 16 Hughes Rd in Madison. A celebration of life will be held directly after at 3 p.m.
"What a wonderful young lady and we are all hurting right now," said Madison City Schools Assistant Superintendent Robby Parker.
Denton graduated from Bob Jones High School in 2005. She was also a member of the 2003 6A State Championship Girls Soccer team.
"Once they're one of ours, they're always one of our family," Parker said.
Denton went on to play soccer at the University of North Alabama, lettering twice for the Lions.
Friends said she had been working in Nashville as a labor and delivery nurse.
But among all of her accomplishments, she may be remembered most for her magnetic smile.
"I don't know that I ever saw her not smiling," said Parker.
Denton still has family in the Madison area. Parker said friends are considering holding a local vigil at either Bob Jones High School or Madison City Schools Stadium in her honor.
"She was loved among her peers and among the soccer girls, who she played with, especially, and I know that everybody's heartbroken," he said. "We're all heartbroken."
Smyrna Police continue to search for the driver of the truck. Officials said the suspect vehicle was believed to be a dark grey or pewter colored Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck with front-end damage and could be missing a driver-side headlight. White paint transfer from the scooter may also be present.
Anyone with information should contact Smyrna Police at 615-459-6644.