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Memorial planned for wreck victims
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A candle light memorial is planned to honor the three teenagers killed last year in a vehicular accident on Hwy. 119, just outside of Pembroke.

The memorial is planned for 7 p.m. March 21 - the one-year anniversary of the crash.

According to Brenda France, grandmother of Heather and Melissa Arthur, the two families and friends are organizing the evening to honor the lives and memories of Heather, Melissa and Laura Cobb, all of whom died at the scene of the two vehicle collision.

The driver of their vehicle, Tam Duc Le, 18 survived the accident. Le was taken by Lifestar Helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where he spent five weeks in a coma as a result of the injuries.

The candle light memorial will be held at the curve where the accident took place. A three cross memorial on the curve was erected shortly after the crash and has served as a place for friends and family to leave gifts, notes, and flowers throughout the past year. Candles will be provided by the Arthur and Cobb families.

The memorial service will be delivered by Rev. Jesse France, grandfather of the Arthurs, and additional words will be given by family friend Joseph Walraven.

Classmates of the girls also plan to release white balloons in memory of their lost friends. The families are having memorial t-shirts made to honor the girls. The public is invited to attend the service.

"We miss them so much everyday," said Mrs. France. "Heather was such a grandpa’s girl and Melissa was a grandma’s girl. They brought us such joy. Everyone says that time will help us heal but it seems to get harder each day."

For safety, community members planning on attending the service are encouraged to park on Old Patrick Road near the site. The Bryan County Sherriff’s Department will be on hand to ensure safety. For more information, contact Brenda France at 653-3554 or 663-2620.

Last Monday, Le was arraigned in Bryan County Superior Court in Pembroke on three counts of vehicular homicide in the first degree, two counts of reckless driving, and one count each of failure to maintain lane and driving too fast for conditions.

Through his attorney Le entered a plea of "not guilty" and waived a formal arraignment.

Due to Le’s medical condition, he was not arrested in the matter until Sept. 12. He has been free on bond since shortly after his arrest. According to his mother, Jennifer Le, he is still suffering from complications and pain from the accident. 

According to Bryan County Sheriff’s Department Captain Mike Maxwell, on the day of the accident Le lost control of the red 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier he was driving as he and the three girls were traveling south on Hwy. 119, approximately 2.3 miles north of Bryan County High School.

Maxwell said as the Chevy Cavalier came out of a sharp curve, it crossed the center line directly into the path of Robin Wilkes of Ellabell. Wilkes was traveling northbound in a Ford F-250 pickup truck. She was taken by ambulance to East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro, where she was treated and released the following day. Both Cavalier and the Ford F-250 were totaled. Due to the force of the impact they had to be cut apart in order to be towed away.

The accident occurred as the teens were on their way to Bryan County High School.

Heather Arthur was in the 10th grade. Melissa Arthur, Laura Cobb and Le were in the 11th grade at the time of the accident. All four were wearing seat belts, Maxwell said.

No trial date is set for Le. Each count of first-degree vehicular homicide is punishable by three to 15 years in prison.

Atlantic Circuit Judge Robert Russell presided over the arraignment.


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