• Tripp Halstead's classmates meet Lightning McQueen

    By: Jeff Dore


    DULUTH, Ga. - Since a tree limb seriously injured him in October, Channel 2 Action News has been following the recovery of Tripp Halstead.

    Tripp loves the character Lightning McQueen from the Disney-Pixar movie "Cars" and the story about Tripp made it all the way to Disney.

    Dozens of Tripp's classmates had a special get-together with Lightning McQueen outside the Gwinnett Arena on Thursday where the "Disney on Ice" show is this weekend.

    Kids, some in Team Boom shirts for Tripp, knew who the giant movie star was inside the tent. Some of the kids were his classmates at Cribs to Crayons day care.

    "We actually go to the day care that Tripp went to. She's been with him since he was a baby," mom Megan Molnar told Channel 2's Jeff Dore about her daughter attending school with Tripp.

    Some of the children who showed up for Thursday's event love the movie as much as Tripp.

    "We watched it on the way here," mother Jessica Helms said.

    "And how often at home?" Dore asked.

    "All the time," Helms said.

    So when the Disney pit crew rolled Lightning McQueen out of his dressing tent, the kids went crazy.

    Dore was there as the children gathered around to have their picture taken with Lightning.

    Then they signed a poster of Mater the tow truck, and a picture of Tripp for his room.

    "Tripp always had 'Cars,' Lightning in his hand. So Lightning is a big part of our life," day care owner Connie Wilbanks told Dore.

    "Disney on Ice" invited the Halstead family to a private meet-and-greet with Lightning if Tripp was up to it, and then prime seating for the show.

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