My name is Lauren Coffee, I have lived in Waynedale for many years.
Shortly before 11 pm on February 21 of this year, Lauren Coffee, 18 and Rebecca Waters, 19, were victims of the winter roads. When Lauren’s car left the road. It landed upside down partially under water and caught on fire. In these most desperate moments a volunteer firefighter from a nearby county saw a glow from beneath the overpass. There was one explosion on his way to rescuing Lauren but he reached her. Lauren was incoherent and unable to answer any questions the volunteer firefighter and the emergency aides on the scene pulled her to safety at a point under the bridge where water and fire couldn’t reach her. Several explosions occurred while trying to get back to Lauren’s car which kept firefighters from reaching Rebecca ‘Becky.’ Becky Waters was found dead inside the car after all fires were extinguished. The Whitley County coroner said she had drowned.
Becky, the mother of a young boy named Kameron, also left behind many brothers and sisters many who attend schools in Waynedale. A friend to so many, Waynedale locals found themselves missing something very significant. She is remembered mostly as always smiling and one of the best people to turn to in times of need. Lauren says of her, “She made me feel good for doing good, it felt really special.”
There is some calm after such a storm, on November 8, 2008 the men who had rescued Lauren were remembered and awarded lifesaving awards for their bravery. The event took place at the Whitley Co. 4-H where Lauren and her family got to meet the men and families of those who were there to help her that night. There that day were also many good friends of Becky’s-all wearing shirts with her picture in memory of her. Becky would have turned 20 on October 22. Lauren felt the best gift she could ever give Becky would be keeping her loving memory alive every single day.
“As happy as I was to celebrate my life and good health with these men who allowed it for me, her being remembered as she was, a young and beautiful friend tragically taken, was also very important to me.”
Lauren is more than grateful to all whom had helped her that night, and also to all those who made the event to meet them possible. There she said she could make a statement about how treasured of a memory Becky still is and maybe everyone in some way will know her now. Also, safe travels are wished to all and their loved ones this season. God Bless.
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