Lenoir City teen remembered 10 years after her death
It's been 10 years since a Lenoir City teenager was killed after prosecutors say she was hit by a car which was street racing. Now, her family is calling for action.
(WBIR, Lenoir City) - It's been 10 years since a Lenoir City teenager was killed after prosecutors say she was in an accident caused by street racing.
Tabitha Helton was 18-years-old when her car was hit on January 10, 2004. She died the next day.
On the 10 year anniversary, family and friends gathered to remember her life, and also listen to a TEASR (Teens Educated Against Street Racing) presentation.
"For that few minutes of a thrill, you can completely change so many lives in seconds. And kids kind of need that driven home to them," said Tabitha's mother Kimberly Stinnett.
She describes Tabitha as a giving person who loved to feed the homeless in Knoxville and help animals.
"She truly had an uncommon love for mankind," she said.
High school friend Robbie Broyles said he uses Tabitha as a moral compass.
"She was just that kind of person," he said. "She always had a smile on her face and seemed to brighten everyone's life."
Pictures from when Tabitha was a baby until she graduated high school appeared on a screen. They also lit candles and walked to Broadway and G Street in Lenoir City where the crash happened.
"We're gathering tonight to celebrate her life, not her death," Stinnett said.
They sang "Amazing Grace" and prayed overlooking the spot of the crash.
The family fought for three years after Tabitha's death for justice.
Two people were sentenced in connection to her death. Thomas Ward served 120 days for reckless vehicular homicide. William Ryan served 30 days in jail for reckless endangerment.