July 18, 1982 - January 21, 2001
In loving memory of
Kelli Laine Lewis is
my only daughter. Kelli died when she was 18 after attending a
"party" hosted by 3 adults who offered a $5.00 entry fee to come
and drink all you wanted. A pretty tempting offer for teens not
old enough to buy alcohol.
Kelli left with a designated driver and one other girlfriend.
There were over 60 other high school students at the "party"
many who knew our phone number and knew i was THE mom that would
come and pick them up if they needed a ride or it was unsafe to
ride with someone. but no one called.
After becoming intoxicated, Kelli didn't want to leave when her
driver was ready to go. The driver found another girl who lived
by us- to make sure Kelli got home safe. However that girl left
Kelli ended up riding with another passenger (Jason) who was
getting a ride from his friend (Tommy) that Kelli didn't know.
Another passenger (Erich) rode with them until they dropped
Erich off as his parked car which was about 4 miles from our
house. Erich had parked his car there VS driving to the party
because he knew he was going to be drinking and didn't want to
drive. Such irony.
Tommy pulled out with Erich following him because they were
going to drop Kelli off and then the boys were going to go get
something to eat in Charlotte NC (we live on the SC side of the
The two cars raced on impulse. Tommy's car went off the road,
hit several trees and landed upside down smashing our children
underneath. all three were dead on impact (we hope).
We then got THE 'knock at the door' and lives were forever
All three minors were just under being 3x's over the legal
The SC Highway Patrolman told me he knew Erich had been drinking
and he hoped it made me feel better that he didn't allow him to
drive his own car home. hmmm, no. that really didn't help. I
expect the state highway patrol to do the jobs they are paid to
do- which would include taking an underage drunk driver into the
station for a BAC and charging him with a DUI and any other
charges that fit. Instead Erich's friend came to pick him up and
they tried to buy more beer with a fake ID less than one mile
from where our children lay dead. I'm not really angry at either
driver. I expect teens to do dumb things like drinking and
speeding. I however don't expect my state to look the other way
while they do it.
South Carolina also refused to
charge the 3 adults. but don't get me started on THAT.
oops, too late! SC said there wasn't
anything they could do about the adults because it was in a
private home. Really? So you cant sell METH out of a private
home, but if it's a DRUG the state makes money off of- then tend
to look the other way.
So that's how it ends for my precious
'Keddi-girl', our nickname for Kelli.
Our family remains shattered no matter how
much time passes.
How different that night could have been
had just one person stopped Tommy from driving or if one person
had picked up the phone and called me....
please visit Kelli at