'She's still with me': Boyfriend of I-75 crash victim planned to propose
Jarrod Miller has a new routine in the weeks since Taylor Blevins died. Now he often finds himself at Crestlawn Cemetery beside his girlfriend's grave.
"Because I sort of figured I'd be close to her the rest of my life," Miller said. "Then I got robbed. So now being here is as close as I'm going to get."
Blevins, 26, was one of three people killed in a
. Blevins' sister, Caitlyn Bailey, 20, also died in the crash.
Police say their car was hit head-on by an intoxicated driver, Tammy Rodriguez. Rodriguez is accused of leading police on a chase before pulling a U-turn and driving the wrong way on the interstate for nearly a mile.
It was the
, court records show.
Rodriguez has been in court twice now, having been
and for driving without a license, then being arraigned a week later on charges of assault, wanton endangerment and
The long legal process is
, but loved ones of the victims say that with everything that goes on inside the courtroom, they do not want people to lose sight of who Taylor Blevins and Caitlyn Bailey were, and how much they were loved.
Now the two sisters are buried side-by-side, a testament, Miller said, to just how close they were in life. Sitting near their graves in a rocking chair that Blevins had worked to restore, Miller reflected on the past two weeks.
"It's hard to come here," he said. "But as much as I possibly can I'll come, and I'll sit. Think.
"The memories are all I have now," he said. "The pictures. The videos. The memories. The things that I have - that's all I've got. But I do know she's still with me."
Miller and Blevins dated for three years, he said. She was the love of his life. They talked about marriage. He planned to propose.
But now none of that will happen. The crash cut short Blevins' life and erased this couple's future.
"I have this little statement, I've said it time and time again - and it's probably one of the little things that's kept me going through all this," Miller told WKYT's Garrett Wymer. "'Just as sure as God made little green apples, she was loved.' By me and many others."
And that was the last thing he told her, in a phone conversation with Blevins earlier on the night of the crash - as she and her sister got in the car, leaving a friend's house to head back to Georgetown.
He's glad he told her.
"But," Miller said, "I'd sure like to say it a few more times."
Rodriguez is due back in court on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing.
Miller has not been to court yet for her previous appearances, and he's not sure when he will be up to going. He says it is too hard; just seeing her mug shot is hard enough. The pain is too fresh, the wound too raw.
So he comes instead, as he often does now, to the cemetery, where he spends some time near the woman with whom he hoped to build a life and a future together.
"There's a hole there," he said, "that will never be able to be filled up."