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Teen wreck victims recalled at memorial

Family members and friends gathered Saturday to remember three teenage girls killed in a car accident on the way to Bryan County High School.

March 21 marked the two-year anniversary of the event that claimed the lives of Heather and Melissa Arthur and Laura Cobb, for whom family and friends still mourn.

The memorial was held at the place where the accident took place -- the curve on Hwy. 119 just two miles away from the high school.

Three crosses were erected at the site soon after the fatal crash, and it has since served as a place for friends and family to leave notes, gifts, flowers and balloons.

Saturday, candles were lit and friends and family joined together in prayer, music, comfort and the reading of a poem in honor of the girls.

Sherry Arthur, mother of Heather and Melissa, expressed gratitude to the nearly 50 people that came.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support," she said through tears.

Jesse France, grandfather of the two Arthur girls, played and sang a song he wrote in memory of the girls. He said the words woke him at 2 a.m. one morning and he put some guitar chords to them.

"I sat down to write a song about them, but it turned out to be a song from them to us," he said.

He said he went to the cemetery to play it for them, and after he played, the wind started blowing nearby pinwheels and wind chimes.

"To me, it was them saying they liked it," France said.

An emotional Mary Buenrostro, a classmate close to the teens, read a poem in their honor. Afterwards, friends and family released white balloons enscribed with messages and prayers for their lost friends.

Buenrostro, dressed in a long, yellow evening dress and yellow flowers in her hair, noted that Saturday was the same day as the BCHS prom.

She said she gave serious consideration to not attending because of the day on which it fell.

"I started not to go to prom, but thought it over and knew they would have been right there with us, so I’m going to go and remember them," she said.

Tam Duc Le, the driver of the car in which the three girls were passengers, is currently out of jail on bond awaiting trial. He is scheduled for a pre-hearing conference in Bryan County Superior Court on April 1.

Attempts to reach the Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney prosecutor in charge of the case were unsuccessful, but Le reportedly faces three felony counts of first-degree vehicular homicide, as well as charges of reckless driving, driving too fast for conditions and failure to maintain lane.

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