Cheer team remembers 7-year-old killed in Tucson crash

Jazelle Armenta died Wednesday following two-vehicle accident on the southwest side

Cheer team remembers 7-year-old killed in Tucson crash

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Friends, family and teammates said their final goodbyes to Jazelle Armenta on Friday, Sept. 20.

Jazelle died following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side late Wednesda.

According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, 65-year-old Vilma Wamsley was cited on a misdemeanor charge of motor vehicle violation causing death.

The crash happened at the intersection of Valencia and Camino de la Tierra around 6 p.m. Wednesday. The Drexel Heights Fire District said four people were transported to local hospitals, including the child, who died at the hospital. PCSD said the others involved in the crash had minor injuries.

Three days later, a vigil was held at Manzanita Park for the 7-year-old Jazelle.

Jazelle Armenta, 7, died Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side.
Jazelle Armenta, 7, died Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side. (Source: Brooke Gallup)

Jazelle was a member of the Redskins Cheer Squad, coached by Brooke Gallup.

It was Jazelle’s first year on the team, and first go at cheerleading, but Gallup said Jazelle always gave it her all.

“She was awesome," Gallup said. “She really would try everything that we told her to do. She wasn’t unwilling to learn.”

There’s no doubt Jazelle was full of life, which is why the news of the crash seemed unbelievable to Gallup.

“I really thought that she was going to come back," Gallup said. “I thought that everything would be okay and she would come back to practice and cheer again and everything would be fine."

The news hit the team even harder.

“We told the girls that she was in a car accident and they took it hard, that wasn’t good news to them,” Gallup said. "They didn’t understand. They’re 7 years old. They didn’t know what was going on. It was hard for them to process that.”

The first step happened Friday night as the team remembered the girl who always wore a smile.

Jazelle Armenta, 7, died Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side.
Jazelle Armenta, 7, died Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side. (Source: Brooke Gallup)

Even though their squad is now one short, Jazelle will never be gone from their hearts.

“She’s watching over us and she’s putting strength into all of the girls to know that we -- we’re a stronger and closer team because of her,” Gallup said.

A grief counselor and comfort canine were on hand at the vigil to help the girls process their terrible loss.

Gallup said when they compete next on Oct. 27, they will do it in Jazelle’s name. And when they win, it will be because she is watching over them.

Jazelle’s family started a GoFundMe account and nearly $17,000 has been raised.

The Tucson Redskins said an account has been started for the family. You can donate at any Bank of America by using the account number Tucson Redskins 457038289514.

Jazelle Armenta, 7, died Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side.
Jazelle Armenta, 7, died Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash on Tucson’s southwest side. (Source: Brooke Gallup)

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