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Vigil remembers teens killed in 2007 wreck
Family members and friends gathered Saturday to remember three teenage girls killed in a car accident on the way to Bryan County High School in 2007.
March 21 marked the three-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 two miles 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.
Jesse France, grandfather of the two Arthur girls, led the three dozen or so that came out in prayer. He also spoke of the girls’ childhood as candles were lit in honor of the girls. Balloons were released to conclude the vigil.
“We want people to remember my granddaughters and want them to be aware of what tragedy does to family,” grandmother Brenda France said. “This family has been through so much.”
France said her 34-year-old son Joey, the girls’ uncle, died of a heart attack last year “and is buried next to the girls.”
France said another that should be remembered this day is North Bryan resident Rick Huddleston, who died several years prior on that same curve, leaving four children behind. France said she and others have complained in the media many times for the Department of Transportation to straighten out the curve, but to no avail.
France said the day had double meaning – remembering the girls and fixing up the crosses on Hwy. 119 to remind passersby to drive safely.
Capt. Mike Maxwell, who worked the accident, was in attendance for the vigil. He called the event important to keep the kids’ memories alive and well. "It’s also an important part of the healing process for the families," he said.
Tam Duc Le, the driver of the car in which the three girls were passengers, is currently serving a four-and-a-half year prison term after being found guilty on three felony counts of first-degree vehicular homicide. He is slated to be released in 2013.
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