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Teen killed in crash remembered; driver in custody awaiting court date

March 19, 2007



LAKEWOOD – Several hundred mourners crowded in to Bear Creek Church Monday morning for the funeral of 17-year-old Samara Stricklen.

The Bear Creek High School junior was killed last Tuesday night on West Alameda Parkway. A classmate of Samara’s who was at the wheel was critically injured and remains in the hospital.

The 16-year-old driver of the car which hit Samara, had been drinking. As had passengers in the vehicle.

Much of Monday morning’s funeral service was in sign language, and some of those who spoke at the service signed their grief and condolences to the Stricklen family. Tamara’s parents communicate through sign language, and are prominent in the Deaf community.

As the hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’ was sung and signed, a friend of the family warned teens in the sanctuary of the dangers of drinking and driving. He told Samara’s classmates “Life is so short, precious and priceless. Is it really worth one sip of pleasure to destroy someone’s life?”

Other friends of the family told the congregation that Samara’s parents named her after reading Luke 10, which recounts Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, the man who stopped to help a wounded man on the roadside. Last Tuesday, according to a witness to the Lakewood accident, Samara asked a police officer to help her classmate first. A short time later, Samara died.

The driver of the car that hit and killed Samara is scheduled to be in court in Jefferson County Tuesday.

According to Steve Davis, a spokesperson for the Lakewood Police Department, the driver’s toxicology report is in. Davis told 9NEWS, “The exact test results is not something we release,” he then added, “The blood alcohol level was found that would support a DUI charge.”

Details about the toxicology report would have to be released by the district attorney.

9NEWS has chosen not to release the name of the driver as she is a minor and has not been formally charged.

Meanwhile, there is no class at Bear Creek High School until at least Thursday due to unrelated fire damage.

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(Note from FookemBug: Video is at http://www.9news.com/video/player.aspx?aid=31334&bw= )