11/03/2012 07:10 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Hundreds mourn Alberta girl killed in classroom crash

Hundreds of people released pink balloons in St. Paul, Alta. to mark the funeral of a 11-year-old girl who was killed after a minivan slammed into her classroom last week.

"They said it well today. She was a girl full of smiles. A girl that was actively engaged in everything she did,” said Angele Looy, who taught Megan Wolitski in Grade 4.

“I knew, as a teacher, I could always count on Megan to raise her hand and share what she had to say. “

Wolitski and seven of her classmates were injured during their Grade 6 French lessons when the van smashed through the window of the room they were in.

She was among three girls who were flown to Edmonton hospital in critical condition. Wolitski died the next day.

Five others were sent to hospital in St. Paul.

During the service Saturday, her aunt and uncle described "Miss Megan" as an energetic girl, passionate about dance and swimming. She had dreamed of becoming a teacher.

Looy says the girl’s death has left a scar on the small town of St. Paul, where many people knew Wolitski.

“Megan was part of a big family and was part of a small class,” she said.

Around a thousand people attended a memorial in her honour Friday night.

Outside the funeral, Racette student Liam Krys says the memorial and services have helped the community cope with what happened, but the memories will be raw for a long time to come.

“The healing process has begun, but this is going to leave a mark on us forever. You don’t forget something like this,” he said.

Accused driver denied bail

The man accused of driving the van, Richard Benson, is charged with criminal negligence causing death, two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, resisting arrest and possession of marijuana.

On Thursday, a judge denied Benson, 46, bail and ordered him to remain in custody.

The accused will next appear in court December 13.