GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) - Trinity Harrison was supposed to graduate from Ware Shoals High School next month. Early in the morning on April 7, 2019, she was sitting in the passenger seat of her aunt's car, on the way home from her final prom as a Ware Shoals student.
But that came to an abrupt, tragic end that morning. Another driver, identified as Carter Owen, hit her aunt's car head-on. Her aunt suffered injuries, but Trinity lost her life that night at age 18.
Owen has since been charged with DUI resulting in death, and his family have offered tearful apologies for his role in Trinity's death. But Trinity's family is still reeling from the loss.
“You took my baby with the decisions you made on her prom night,” said Tonya Hurley, at Owen's bond hearing, where he was denied bond. Hurley, who is Trinity's mother, was out of the country when Trinity died, adding another dimension to her pain.
“My baby does not deserve this. Her brother, her sister, her cousins and nieces and nephews, this is pain."
REMEMBERING A KIND SOUL
Ware Shoals High School held a grieving period in their gym before class on Monday. On Tuesday, we learned about the funeral arrangements for Trinity.
On Wednesday, loved ones gathered together to remember her at a vigil in Greenwood, ending with a balloon release.
Attendees wore blue and purple, Trinity's favorite colors, and we learned more about her from the people who knew her best.
"She was a great friend," recalls Myia Starks. "She always knew what to say when I was down, and she was the best thing that ever happened in my life."
Much of Trinity's impact outside of her family and her school were through her time as a dance student with the F.I.Y.A. Dance University group. Some of her coaches spoke at Wednesday night's vigil, reminiscing on how she stood out on the floor and how she made people laugh. And during the vigil, with white gloves on and wearing matching outfits, her fellow performers danced in her honor.
“She always called me Chris-cross and she was like Chris cross come here, come talk to me," said Christen Harper, a fellow dance student, "and we were just talking about everything... and we would talk about our problems to each other.”
Moya Mims, another student, echoed this sentiment.
“Every time she walked in the room she would light up the whole room... and her smile.... it was amazing," she said.
The impact on her peers is evident, but the impact on dance parents is something the dance class must face too.
“Now the parents are going to have to go back say how can I talk to my kid... they’re grieving," said Lynn Nicholson, who has a daughter in Trinity's class. "It’s a grieving community out here today and we’re going to have to deal with that in the days, weeks, and even months to come.”
Messages from the Bible were spoken. Prayers were lifted, and even more tears shed.
And at the end of it, loved ones released purple and blue balloons into the sky, remembering Trinity's legacy of love and laughter. But days before her funeral, before her final goodbyes on earth, Starks has only one regret.
“I just hate that I never got to tell her that I love her and how much she really meant to me.”