Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Community in mourning after teen hit and killed by SUV

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Albany/HV: Community in mourning after teen hit and killed by SUV
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Grief counselors will be at Ballston Spa High School after a 14-year-old girl was hit by a car and killed over the weekend. Our Matt Hunter was along Milton Road where the crash happened with more.

MILTON, N.Y. -- "You're mad because they took her away from you and you didn't even have a chance to say goodbye to her and you're upset because you're dealing with a loss of a best friend,” said friend Heather Wright.

Two days after their lives changed forever, it's still a mix of emotions for friends of Kari Liedel. Saratoga County Sheriff's deputies say the 14-year-old was hit and killed by a drunk driver while walking along West Milton Road toward a nearby creek.

"They should've known better. It's their responsibility,” friend Kayce Wilbur said. “They took the responsibility to drink so they should've known not to get in the car afterwards."

"If you want to drink, then drink, that's fine, but don't get behind the wheel, like, it affects so many people, more than just yourself," Wright said.

Gavin Staulters, 21, has been charged with one count of driving while intoxicated. The Air Force Airman was released from Saratoga County Jail Sunday on $5,000 cash bail, a fact that's left many of Liedel's friends in disbelief.

"It's ridiculous. Somebody gets drunk at a bar and decides to go ride down the road and take somebody's life like that, it's not fair," friend J.C. Doherty said.

"I was mad, I freaked out and I cried. That's not fair, I think he deserves to spend his life in jail," Wright said.

Neither the Saratoga County Sheriff's or District Attorney's Office would comment on the case Monday.

All day, Liedel's friends continued to visit the site where her life came to a tragic end.
As they paid their respects and added to a growing memorial, they honored a girl who was known for her bright smile, big heart and beautiful voice.

Wilbur said, "When you first looked at her, you wouldn't believe how well she sung, but as soon as she opened up her mouth, you wouldn't want her to stop. Everyone loved her voice."

Said Wright, "You're never going to see her again, hear her sing, she's not going to brighten up your day because she's just not there."

The school district has posted grief and bereavement resources on their website.

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