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Article updated: 7/9/2013 6:34 PM

Funeral held for Bartlett teen who died in Michigan crash

By Jessica Cilella

Funeral services for a 13-year-old Bartlett girl who died Saturday in a car crash in Michigan were held Tuesday.

Rajvi Parikh died from injuries suffered when she was ejected from a 2002 Acura station wagon that crashed after her father, 43-year-old Chirayu Parikh, of Bartlett, swerved to avoid an object in the roadway, police said.

Police confirmed Tuesday that Rajvi was not wearing her seat belt at the time of the crash. Her father and her mother, 38-year-old Alpa Parikh, who was in the front passenger seat, suffered minor injuries.

Services were held at the Countryside Funeral Home in Bartlett, according to Asian Cremation USA. Michigan State Police Sgt. Lance Cook said the crash occurred about 12:09 p.m. Saturday on U.S. Highway 131 in Mecosta County's Mecosta Township, about 50 miles north of Grand Rapids.

The vehicle was traveling in the left lane of the highway at the time of the crash, authorities said. It dropped off the edge of the pavement and overturned several times.

Neelam Thakker, Rajvi's traditional Indian dance teacher for about the past five years, said Rajvi was a confident dancer who was always willing to help her peers.

"She was definitely one of the brightest students I've ever taught," Thakker said. "She showed a lot of passion through her dance."

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