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Paintsville teen dies in weekend crash

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

Paintsville High School only has about 330 students in grades seven through twelve, so the loss of one child is tough for them to come to terms with. But the pain is very different for the family that is left behind.

It happened along a stretch of Kentucky Route 581 in Johnson County.

"It's the worst nightmare a mother could have," said Patricia Shepherd.

That's where Shepherd lost one of her own.

"It's going to be rough. It's going to be hard for me to cope with," said Shepherd.

Her 16-year old daughter Sara was driving Saturday afternoon when she ran off the road and hit a culvert. She later died from her injuries.

"I wished that I had told her more that I loved her," said Shepherd.

A small memorial sits at the accident site. A larger one is on display at her high school.

"They think about, was she hurting, did she go through a lot of pain before she passed away. Those are things they keep thinking about, pondering over, wanting to know more," said Beverly Martin, Guidance Counselor at Paintsville High School.

Martin said she has been encouraging students to talk about how they are feeling, and be there for Sara's family, who will forever deal with the pain.

"I want to bring her home," said Shepherd.

A wish from one parent, a reminder on a rainy Monday, to treasure time with those you love.

"The minute that they walk out your door, you want to tell them that you love them so much, and spend as much time for them as you possibly can," said Shepherd.

A 41-year old passenger in the car was airlifted to the hospital Saturday.

Patricia Shepherd has a son Sean, who is a tenth grader just like his sister. Visitation for Sara Shepherd was Monday night at 6 p.m.

Her funeral is Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Nelson Frazier Funeral Home in Martin.


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