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Friends remember young singer killed in crash

Audrey Hounshell's friends say one of their favorite places to spend time together was at Shilito Park. Today, just hours after her death, they say they can't believe those times are over.

"Audrey was more than a friend to me, she was my sister," says Sarah Brown.

"She always would brighten my day," says Sara Sims.

"She's always the person you can go to and rely on to make your day better," says Tori Dean.

"She's kind of irreplaceable," says Nicole House.

Four of Audrey's closest friends gathered today to hold each other up as they deal with her sudden death. Tori Dean has known Audrey since they were young children.

"She'd be the first person I'd love to go to for advice because even though it might not always be the best advice, she definitely was willing to help you out," she says.

Audrey was killed when she lost control and was thrown from her car as it flipped along New Circle Road. Police say she wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Before her death, she'd dedicated herself to becoming a successful singer/songwriter. She'd already released one album and was working hard on another.

"It was her heart and soul. Everything she did revolved around her music," says Brown.

As they think of Audrey and what could have been, they're thankful they have each other.

"It's great having the comfort of these three. Before we came here, we just sat in a circle on the bed talking about the memories. It's just glad to know that we have people here that's going to help us get through this and we're not having to face it on our own," says House.

Audrey's friends say they're not sure yet how they'll memorialize her, but they can always come back here to remember her.

Audrey's songwriting partner Whitney Acke says Chrisman Mill Winery in Hamburg was her favorite place to play music. Making it big was a dream they both shared.

"We wanted to reach people, and touch people, and inspire people. We wanted people to hear us," says Acke.

Acke first met Audrey a year ago. The friendship was instant.

"She was my soul sister. She was one of my very best friends," she says.

She says Audrey's special talent with words was a big reason she loved working with her.

"Her strength was in songwriting and her ability to use words in ways that were so creative was amazing," says Acke.

In fact, they had just written a song together this week. Whitney says she can't bear to think of the days ahead.

"Looking forward is hard and I don't want to do it. Audrey made music fun for me and I don't know if it will be fun anymore, but I'll share her music. I'll share what we've done," she says.

Audrey's mother says she hopes her daughter's death will serve as a reminder to others about the importance of seatbelts.


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