VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — A total of four people have died after a crash on Sandbridge Road Wednesday evening, and now friends are reaching out to provide for the families and commemorate the people they loved.
Marlo Bayot was driving a Nissan Sentra on Sandbridge Road with six children when police say she crossed the center line and was hit broadside by a pickup truck. 38-year-old Bayot and 13-year-old Gabriel Proctor died at local hospitals. 14-year-old Cheyenne and 10-year-old Cherish Gurney died the night of the accident. The other three passengers remain hospitalized.
“It was a tremendous loss because of what a happy soul she was and a loving person she was,” said Lauren Meyer, Bayot’s running coach. “It’s always hard to lose somebody that is so pure.”
In every picture friends shared of Bayot, she is smiling. Friends say it’s only a snapshot of the vibrant woman she was.
“She was a loyal person, a loyal sister, a loyal aunt,” Meyer said.”She was just a beautiful soul. She never didn’t have a smile on her face.”
“She was just sweet, bubbly, and a true spirit,” said teammate Cosette Livas.
Meyer is coach of a running group called the Finishers. She helped Bayot run her first half marathon, and in return, she says Bayot became a dear friend.
“She radiated happiness throughout the entire group of 40,” said Meyer. “Every time she walked through the door at 5:30 in the morning it was hard not to smile back at her.”
Teammates like Livas say Bayot was everyone’s cheerleader, and always there to motivate: “You knew she was going to be there, and you knew she was going to support you. If she finished the race in an hour and it took me three, she was one of the people still there.”
Bayot’s memory now lives in the all the hearts of the people she touched.
Noel Ray attended Kellam High School with Bayot, whose fiance Glen Proctor is the father and uncle of the three children who died. Ray said he had to do something to help the families, so he set up an online fund to help with funeral expenses.
Ray said he saw the couple just this past weekend.
“They were very happy. You could see it in both of each other’s eyes. It was funny because we all grew up together,” Ray said.