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Students And Counselors Plan Memorial For Family Of Bettendorf Girl

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People who knew her say 18-year-old Natalie Munoz was a sweet, hard-working girl, who loved her family more than anything.

"Just a really neat young lady who worked tremendously hard. She was very proud. Wanted to graduate from high school. Wanted to graduate early. Wanted to start college. Wanted to get moving on with her life. I think pretty typical of a lot of teenagers."

Bettendorf High School Principal Jimmy Casas says that's exactly what Natalie was doing, moving on with her life.

Graduating early from high school on Monday and ready to start classes at Scott Community College Tuesday.

But this multi vehicle accident Tuesday morning kept her from her dream.

"That's what makes it really, really difficult. The fact that she worked so hard to graduate, to earn a high school diploma and get started with college. And then all that happened just yesterday."

Police say Natalie was driving westbound on River Drive in Davenport when she apparently lost control of her car, crossing over into oncoming traffic.

She later passed away at a local hospital.

"It's just a really difficult situation. It's the worst thing that any staff or school wants to deal with at any time, but at the same time when it happens, it seems something positive always comes out of it."

And Casas says the school is already starting to see that.

Tuesday night, students decorated Natalie's locker, leaving messages for the girl they'll always call a friend.

And Wednesday morning counselors began setting up a memorial for Natalie, full of blank pages that will soon be full of pictures and memories.

The school then plans to give it to the Munoz family, letting them know she will never be forgotten.

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