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Family, friends remember victims killed by falling tree

Special to SEGAZINE

Friends and family gathered this morning to set up a memorial for two girls killed Wednesday morning when a tree fell on the car they were riding in.

Friends and family of Kaleigh Miller and Ashley Akra describe the memorial as simple, but meaningful.

They planted two wooden crosses, one with a picture of each girl on them and a wreath that reads “Kaleigh and Ashley best friends forever.” Friends and family even wrote messages on the crosses for the girls.

“It’s very hard, very hard. But it’s something you’ve got to do,” Tom Akra, Ashley’s father said.

After the crosses were planted, family walked to the middle of Blythe Island Highway, where the car was when the tree fell on it, and released balloons.

Akra says that coming to this ceremony this morning was one of the most difficult things that he’s ever done. Every day he misses his daughter, and is struggling with the fact the he will never see her again.

“It still doesn’t seem real. I’m still looking for her to walk to the door anytime see if she’s been with her friends. I haven’t had a chance to really come to grips with this yet,” he said.

Kaleigh Miller’s mother Carla is now left to raise her daughter’s three children. She has tried to remain strong for the kids but this morning when she returned to the site where her daughter was killed for the first time she walked over to the tree and that’s when she broke down.

“Why did it have to happen? I don’t understand. Just pray, and hopefully The Lord will give us strength to go on. One day, by and by, we will understand.”

Both families say the support they received from friends family and complete strangers helping them get through this difficult time

“It’s touching. she’s got a lot of friends a lot of family everybody loves her a lot. Everybody’s going to miss her very much,” Akra said.

“It’s very touching. Not just at this site, we’ve had outpours of love and concern about both children,” Miller said. “And so, it really makes me feel loved that our girls were loved.”

Kaleigh Miller’s funeral is from 6 to 8 on Tuesday night at Edo Miller funeral home in Brunswick.

Funeral services for Ashley Akra will be Saturday, December 7 at first Zion Baptist Church in Riceboro.

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