In Mourning: Father Says Texting, Driving ‘Not Worth It’

PASADENA, Md. (WJZ)—Texting while driving may be to blame for the single-car accident that killed a young college student on Christmas Eve in Anne Arundel County.

Hundreds of mourners braved the frigid cold to pay tribute to the victim who was alone when her car slammed into a tree.

Derek Valcourt spoke with the victim’s family and has more on the candlelight vigil in Pasadena.

Alyssa Bennett would have turned 20 Monday. Instead some 200 of her friends and family mark the occasion with a candlelight vigil after her life was cut short on Christmas Eve when the college student and part-time nanny crashed into a tree on Tick Neck Road in Pasadena.

“It’s really tough,” said her father Gary Bennett. 

Gary Bennett and the rest of her family are finding strength in the hundreds of friends telling stories about how much Alyssa meant to them.

“One minute I’m walking around proud as a peacock with my feathers out, and the next minute I’m bawling my eyes out because I miss her,” he said.

“We’re taking it kind of hard but just seeing all the love from everybody all over, from different states too, it’s really amazing,” said Alyssa’s sister Christie Bennett.

Police are still investigating the cause of the accident, but so far they’ve found multiple possibilities.

“It appears there was a litany of possible contributing factors that led to the crash to include driver error, excessive speed, also possibly alcohol and distracted driving,” said Justin Mulcahy, Anne Arundel County police spokesperson.

Alyssa may have been text messaging while driving, which is against the law in Maryland. Her family hopes other teens won’t make the same mistake.

“One life’s been lost because of a text message, man,” said Gary Bennett. “These young kids need to know that it’s not worth it. Pull off the side of the road.”

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to a college fund for her nephew in Alyssa’s honor. The account is at Tower Federal Credit Union.


One Comment

  1. pearl says:

    Our prayers go out to the family but why on earth is the family asking for donations to be made for the nephew’s college fund?????? If they don’t need money to pay for the funeral like so everyone seems to request nowadays, why not having the money go to a charity???? Did this girl work and she was saving to put the nephew through college??? I doubt it.. Maybe I’m missing something???

    1. Adrianne says:

      Maybe she was really close to her nephew. Perhaps like a little brother to her. You never know. If you don’t agree with it though then don’t donate and don’t worry about it.

      1. lizzie says:

        I’m not donating but honestly, I agree w/ Pearl.. our society somehow thinks it is okay to ask for donations to pay for a funeral when someone dies.. I can see if someone is poor and can’t afford the expense but often times this is not the case. IF this girl was not the sole supporter of her nephew then this is really greedy on the part of the family. Donations are for those who can’t make it without that other person’s support , not just because the family ‘wants’ it.. very tacky and greedy

      2. emily says:

        thank you.

        they asked for people to donate to a college fund INSTEAD of sending flowers. spend 50 dollars on something that will die and need to be thrown away or give the money to cause that better benefit the family specifically the children affected?

        they werent just asking for money from random people. they were saying that theyd prefer for those people who wished to send flowers to donate to a college fund for her nephew, who she was like a mother to.

        theyre not asking for handouts.

      3. emily says:

        and just to be clear. that thank you was directed towards adrianne.

        how is it tacky or greedy of the family to request that the money of those who cared for alyssa go to something that alyssa cared about.

        flowers die & that would be money wasted, in addition to another depressing reminder of the loss of their sister, daughter, neice, and so on. what makes you think that its unreasonable of them to ask that the money be used for a good cause? and for those of you who said that the money should be used for a charity, maybe you should consider the fact that in a case, such as this one, the charity donated to would be of the deceased loved one’s liking. with that said, alyssa would have chosen to give this money, time & energy to her nephew if she were still alive. it is only appropriate that her family would try to continue to carry on in a way she would have appreciated.

        stop assuming that these people are begging for money. that is NOT the case.

    2. Grover says:

      im so sorry for the loss, but I must be missing something too. When is it ok to ask for $$ from the public because of bad decisions made? What makes this any different from any other negligent driving accident?

      1. Dani says:

        Its in rich people area! trhey are all supposedly better than us middle class people.

      2. Josh says:

        rich??? sorry bud…noones rich ..people might be doing fine but its not a rich neighborhood…stop being such a downer and show a little love for people who need it…Its a shame people like you are in this world and comment on situations you have no involvement with or should even be leaving negative comments for…And the thing that makes it different? Im sure if it was your relative you wouldnt be saying any of this…they were asking people who were friends with alyssa for money..not people like you who hide behind fake names such as grover

      3. Babs says:

        Perhaps this young person knew first hand how hard it was to support herself and pay for college. She might have been truly close to her nephew and he wanted to follow in her foot steps. Perhaps the nephew’s parents can not afford to send their child to college in the future due to the economic situation, health reasons. No matter if the family would like to see a trust account set-up for the nephew, so be it.
        To Dani, your comment was rude and downright ignorant. it doesn’t matter where the family lives. You should show some respect for them because they are going through hard times. If you have never experienced such a loss, and I hope that you never, then please keep your remarks to yourself.

      4. Tina says:

        In Korea, it is traditional for people to give money to the family to pay their respects (and to pay for the funeral, because theirs are lengthy and expensive). An envelope with the money is handed to the family with “sorry for your loss” written in Korean on the front of the envelope.

        I believe this is a news report, not an obituary. Perhaps their info came from the girl’s obituary. But an obituary and asking that in lieu of flowers a donation be made is very, very commonplace these days, and I do not see where the family asked for money to cover funeral expenses.

        Lastly, it’s very commonplace as well that people are so quick to pass judgment and form opinions from news broadcasts. Adrianne is right, if you don’t agree, don’t donate, don’t worry about it.

      5. emily says:

        thank you babs & josh.

      6. emily says:

        thank you tina!!!

      7. Petfriend says:

        yes, you are missing something…It says in lieu of flowers a donation can be made….that means they are asking those who would usually give flowers, ie family and close friends…NOT the public. The media chose to include that, not the family.

      8. Leslie Driver says:

        One should not Judge the Dead. Feel their pain and offer your prayers instead. My heart goes out to them. I pray God give them the strength to endure their loss and the belief that they will be together again.

    3. lindsey says:

      Yes you are missing something! If you didnt know her or her nephew then dont donate and dont post a comment on here! You have no clue what you are talking about!

      1. emily says:

        thank you!

    4. Josh says:

      Maybe the money is to go to her nephew since her parents are paying for her funeral, they will not be able to give money to their grandchild’s college fund. Nothing strange about that. Yes her nephew would be her brother or sister’s child which would make her parents grandparents

    5. Nikki Dunleavy says:

      I really feel sorry for you people. I know this young girl and her family personally for over 10 yrs. Rich people??? HAHA This is a family with 5 children and lives off a UPS/Fed ex salary. These people are not rich! She loved her nephew dearly and would of wanted any donations to go to him. Nothing strange! Have some heart! If you don’t agree don’t comment!! No one is forcing you to donate! Jeez the only thing people get out of this story is about the donations? What a sick world we live in today! I will pray for you all, cause you need it! These peopl are middle class hard working folks that have worked hard to provide for their children! Some of these comments just make me sick! MAY GOD BE WITH ALL OF YOU!! RIP ALYSSA

      1. emily says:

        well said. my cousin was really close with alyssa. and shes deeply offended by all of the harsh comments people have posted.

        people are jumping to conclusions about the college fund. i think it is a wonderful idea. flowers are beautiful -while they last, but donating that money to her nephew is something im certain she would have wanted. what better way to have her memory carry on.

        maybe everyone who disagrees should take a minute to put themselves in her familys shoes. if you just lost your daughter what would you wish for her memory?

      2. Petfriend says:

        Nikki, don’t let them get you down…some of these people have no lives at all and all they do is post nasty demeaning comments about others on here every single chance they can. They never comment on the point of the story and in this case tragedy, just on whatever negative trash they can throw out there to somehow make their sordid little lives seem more important. The decent people of MD feel your loss and pain and our sympathies are with everyone during this senseless tragedy.

      3. brittany whitby says:

        well put

    6. Bridget says:

      Pearl I think your comments are judgmental and tacky. I can bet that if this was your family or friend and the decision madeon their behalf was questioned by strangers you would be sooo offended. Think before you speak and have some empathy.

      To the family. I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers

    7. CHAKHA says:


  2. Sheryl Davis Mckenna says:

    so sorry for your loss god bless

    1. Tasha says:

      I agree with pearl if the donation request was intended for friends and family then there was no need to tell the news about that part very tacky. That took away from the real issue. I pray that they get through this.

  3. jeff says:

    what they are saying is instead of spending money on flowers send it for something that will provide a future for someone out of this horrible accident

    1. East Coast says:

      jeff, you are right. It’s so sick that people who know nothing come here to make comments like this. They are lacking in their hearts and devoid of all compassion. I hope that the nephew uses any donations to further his education in her honor.

      How terribly sad for the family and I hope they don’t read such childish and mean comments that these losers write here.

  4. kathy says:

    I lost two best friends in 1967 , July, when the hit a tree on Tic Neck Road . They were laid out at the same funeral home together. I have never gotton over this tragedy and my prayers are with this famly. How sad. There is a curve in the road by the church, and it is a dangerous road… More reflective signs should be posted.

    1. leighann says:

      More reflective signs wouldn’t have helped in this case. The accident was caused by human error.

  5. Brian says:

    Im with you Pearl. Why would they want MONEY for her nephew? Something fishy.

    1. Petfriend says:

      I want to believe you misunderstand and are not mearly being nasty. That line is common in many obits for family and friends to donate to something the person loved rather than flowers. In this case she loved her nephew. No one here asked any strangers to do a thing. The father in his grief did an honorable and wonderful thing to reach out to our young people and state that he hoped that other kids would see the senselessness in a prescious life lost from possibly texting while driving. This family has done nothing to warrant such hateful comments on anyone’s part.

  6. Jason McMahon says:

    Fishy? Why would it be fishy to want memorial donations to someone’s college fund instead of flowers that go in the trash?

    1. mikey says:

      Perhaps they should ask for donations to be made to a local school’s chapter of SADD, (students against destructive decisions)… This girl made a poor decision, supposedly, but I can’t see how they have the guts to ask people to send the nephew to college. what’s up with that

      1. emily says:

        that was directed towards jason.

        not “mikey”

      2. leeann giordano says:

        has everyone for gotton that a young lady has lost her life i say may god be with her family and friends

  7. Stacey M says:

    I lost a family member in April of this year. The same reason three people died on that day. Three families lost loved ones. I just dont understand why people will NOT LISTEN. DANG IT!!!! THE CALL CAN WAIT!!!!. What did we all do before cell phones???? My uncle Preston A. Matthews would have been 58 on Dec. 23rd, This was the hardest Holiday season my family has ever seen. Peace and Blessing to this young ladies family and to all of you.

    1. Tonia says:

      God Bless you and your family!!

  8. Rachel says:

    I dont understand the donaton end myself. Why exactly would someone want to donate for a cause which in reality, isnt any different from any other Drunk Driving accident that claims a life. None the less, prayers to the family, any tragedy is horrible, but to monopolize on it is just adding the list of crimes done here.

  9. Lynn says:

    the donation thing isn’t fishy.however she was very very close to her nephew and im sure if she were still alive she would want the money spent on her nephews future and not on flowers that will be in the trash in a week. why do people have to be so ignorant if you don’t know the story then don’t talk about it. i think that is a very good idea.

  10. Pam says:

    This is very very sad and her family is in my prayers! I lost my mom this past Friday too! Such a very sad day!

  11. brittney says:

    hello everyone , i think her family is going thru enough & dont need people on here talking bout their decisions im sure they did this donation for a good reason & if i dont have nothing nice to say maybe you should keep your thoughts to yourself & go on about your business . my prayers are with the bennett familly , im so sorry about your lose . alyssa was an amazing girl ! & as for the fake id who in this world hasnt had one & those who didnt just didnt know how to have fun & im sure alyssa would relive every second of her life the way she did ( outgoing & fun )

    1. Poca says:

      I DID NOT have a fake idea so NO every1 did not have one, drinking and driving is crazy , texting and driving is even worse as far as I am concerned the two mixed together is deadly. I agree though this is not the place to discuss this they lost their daughter and she cant take back her mistakes now. Not that is helps but at least no one else was injured for this family to have that on their plate as well.

      I am so sorry for their loss I have a 20 year old son who passed out in his car at 18 due to a heart condition driving home (we were blessed he is fine) but we have issues with him texting and driving and I worry EVERYDAY about this phone call so I know this family has to be suffering real bad and we need to think about them before we post here.

      1. brittney says:

        ok now imagine it being your son & people being on here leaving the ignorant comments you people are . i hope you read back one day & see how cold hearted & miserable you people are .

  12. Josh says:

    All you people with your negative comments…really need a reality check and to stop sitting behind your computers making comments that are not needed…She was loved by many people and will always be remembered…Show a little care and heart for once in your lifes..Nothing fishy..she cares about her family…Wouldnt you want your family taken care of? Exactly my point..stop being miserable and looking to put people down when there trying to get through a tough situation..Its people like yall who are the way the world is..RIP ALYSSA…never forgotten…

    1. pearl2 says:

      Josh, everyone has a right to their opinion and we have all clearly voiced that on here.. It does not belittle her memory or make her any ‘less’ of a person.. No one is trying to take away the fact that she may have been a good person. Simple comments can not do that and quite honestly if the family/friends can’t see that then maybe they shouldn’t be reading it. Last time I checked, we live in America and have a right to free speech. Quite honestly, I’m grateful that her poor choices did not kill anyone else… or am I wrong for saying that too?

  13. Debbie says:

    My prayers and with this family, and for all of those who chose to comment negatively on this story. The assumptions (this is NOT a rich area…I know, I live here) and the questioning of where the donations should or shouldn’t go are completely inappropriate and quite frankly no one’s business. It’s time to be kind and compassionate…put your self absorbed, “all knowing” selves aside for a bit and offer a prayer for peace for this family instead. You may feel much better about yourselves.

    1. R | Pasadena says:

      I agree with everything you said except for your comment that these people asking for money to put the nephew through college is “no one’s business.”

      It became everybody’s business after they wasted no time setting up an account at Tower Federal Credit Union and asking people to give money to benefit the family — some of whom presumably could be complete and utter strangers in the general public.

      If she loved animals, maybe to a rescue shelter, or if she had some other favorite charity, yes — that would be a nice thing to do in her “honor.”

      Otherwise, It is not surprising to me that some would see the “in lieu of flowers send cash” bit as at least a little exploitative.

      1. pearl2 says:

        You are so right.. Thanks for stating it another way because obviously those who disagree with our comments feel that only they are allowed to express themselves. There is no right or wrong here, just ‘free speech.’ I’m sorry that everyone that feels the comments about donating to the nephew are inappropriate, but those are our feelings and we are entitled to have them

      2. Debbie says:

        Don’t contribute….it is no longer your business.

      3. pearl2 says:

        and how is it your”s??? Last time I checked, we live in America and I have a right to post on here just like you or anyone else

      4. andrea says:

        get off your high horse. you made your point pearl. why do you feel the need to keep arguing it? someones life was lost here and all you feel is the need to make sure ‘your opinion’ is heard.get out of the house and maybe go make some friends so you can possibly feel some of the love people have for this girl!

      5. Lee says:

        I think you missed your calling. Your new years resolution should be to sift through and investigate every obituary the in the state, that has mention of setting up a bank account (that they wasted no time in doing?!) for donations in lieu of flowers, for any cause that you find offensive or politically incorrect. You might be surprised at what you find. The family did not put out a classified ad for donations. The news media merely repeated the obit information. That’s the only reason it became “everybody’s business”. How do you know what would be a “nice” thing to do in a deceased’s honor, if you don’t even know the deceased? I’m sure they’re the better judge of that.

      6. R | Pasadena says:

        Lee — in the opinion of many,diverting expressions of sympathy or condolences in the form of flowers to the nephew’s college fund is not a “cause.”


        1. Research for the cure of breast cancer or any cancer
        2. Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association
        3. Helping the children of a firefighter or police officer who died in the line of duty while serving the community and was the major source of support for the children
        4. A homeless shelter
        5. An animal shelter
        6. A soup kitchen
        7. Anything neutral (not self-serving) connected to the deceased

        You know what opinions are, right? Everybody has one. Got a problem with it? Well, other people have a problem with yours. This is the way it is in a TV station’s comment section in a free society.

        Even obituaries have opinions. Someone can be a total louse while they were living but their obituary or their eulogy make it sound like their on a freight train on greased rails to Heaven. (Not at all saying this is true of Alyssa.)

        What is tacky? Whatever anybody wants to say is (in THEIR opinion). If you read something you don’t like, walk away from your computer and instead get ready to watch the Ravens beat the Bengals or something.

      7. Lee says:

        R, – I would say I misspoke , and instead of “cause’ I should have said “reason”. -But, when I did say “cause”, I was not at that point referring to the nephew’s college fund, I was referring to ANY “in lieu of” request that you might find in any obituary in the state. They may be causes, they may not. I thought that a cause was ANY charitable undertaking, anyway. Before you pick at the use of “charitable”, it does not necessarily have to do with licensed and regulated entities. You can be charitable to anyone or anything you like. But you seem to have determined exactly what can be considered causes, and what can’t. Like you said we all have opinions . Just don’t “go all English teacher” on ME, I’ll tear your little diatribe UP. Just give me a red pen. And I won’t walk away from my computer, but I will unsubscribe from this senseless opinions/blog. I’ve never read these kind of things before, and will go forth blissfully not reading them anymore😉

      8. Lee says:

        P.S. I guess it “became everybody’s business” as soon as the media got a hold of it. And when the family didn’t have the state of mind to say “no comment”, or just request privacy. -not that that can guarantee unsolicited responses. I can only hope that no one near and dear to me ever gets in a news story that hits the internet….

  14. Adriana says:

    I feel so sorry for the family of this young woman. I cannot fathom or imagine the pain and suffering her parents, family and friends are enduring. May her memory always be a comfort to you

  15. Katherine says:

    This is a horrible situation – I’m a few years older then Alyssa but I know a lot of her friends, she was a wonderful girl. Please, stop commenting on where the money is going. It is none of our buisness. I couldn’t imagine ever saying something negative about what her family is doing and going through right now. It doesn’t matter if its a poor or rich(which its not) community. If you don’t agree with it, don’t donate. Keep your thoughts to yourself. My prayers are with her family & friends.

  16. R | Pasadena says:

    “as for the fake id who in this world hasnt had one & those who didnt just didnt know how to have fun & im sure alyssa would relive every second of her life the way she did”

    This has got to be one of the DUMBEST comments I have ever read in my entire life. Completely stupid beyond imagination.

    1. pearl2 says:

      Again, you are right.. Why is it that people feel it is justified to defend poor judgement? This is a sad situation all around. The only positive that could possibly come out of this is that people realize texting/drinking/ driving etc is a deadly combination. Not everyone gets a fake ID and there are many people in this world who chose NOT to drink and drive or text and drive because quite honestly they care too much about themselves and others on the road. Again, thank God no one else was killed. I didn’t see any comments made about the injuries the nanny sustained.. ????

      1. Poca says:

        She is a nanny, was what the statement meant.

      2. Pat says:

        Pearl, yes, this is America and you do have a right to post what you feel. I also have that right to say, that if you weren’t hiding behind email and I knew you personally, I wouldn’t like you. Your soul is obviously missing…I think you need to search for it.

        You also need to learn to comprehend what you read re: nanny

  17. R | Pasadena says:

    Dear Editor: A person does not go “balling” his or her eyes out. “Bawling,” maybe, but definitely not balling.

  18. Brittany says:

    It makes me sick that people have nothing better to do but sit on here and post nasty comments. Yes, maybe Alyssa made poor decisions this night but EVERYONE makes a poor decision every now and then. At the very least be empathetic for a beautiful teenager losing her life. Think of what her family is going through. She was obviously extremely close to her nephew. All the family was saying is instead of wasting money on flowers that will go in te trash help to put her nephew through college. Who is anyone to demean their intentions? And as for Pasadena being rich HAHA try again. This area is lower to middle class. Get over yourselves people and at the very least get some empathy. RIP Alyssa, beautiful angel.

  19. Nabil Fermaoui says:

    ‘Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return’ rest in peace

  20. Steven Chase says:

    I don’t see why everyone is criticizing this family’s decision to open up the account. If you don’t like it, then don’t donate. However, people should at least be able to show a little sympathy to the girl who lost her life (regardless of her decisions) and to the family who lost her during this holiday time.

    1. Ben says:

      It is because they are trying to have a financial gain becuase of this. That is just pathetic! It is a tradegy that she died but a miracle she was the only victim. I am disgusted that the family would try to make money off this (even if it was she would have wanted).

      1. emily says:

        theyre not trying to make money!!!

        the video said IN LIEU of flowers. if you werent going to send flowers dont worry about the college fund!!!!

      2. eric says:

        I have 2 nephews and if something happened to me, I would want to help get through college so, its not pathetic!

  21. chris says:

    btw, it’s spelled “bawling”, not “balling”

  22. Truth says:

    I have driven drunk and texted…It was a terrible mistake, and I am thankful that I learned my lesson before I could hurt or kill myself or anyone else. It’s unfortunate that this young lady did not have the opportunity to learn or have someone that was willing to step up and tell her how poor her decisions were.
    I did not know this girl. It is natural for people to try to paint a positive picture of the deceased because we have this preconception that we should not speak ill of the dead.
    However, I think there is an opportunity here to teach other young people about the dangers of these types of decisions that should not be wasted. And, hopefully, had she survived, she really would not have “relived every second of her life the way she did.
    It’s my own opinion that a college fund for her nephew is probably a little on the tacky side, but to each their own.

    1. justice says:

      Very well written Truth.. It seems that there are people on here who tried to say the same thing but others jumped all over their case. There are definitely lessons to be learned here and as many others have said, thank goodness no one else was driving down that road at the same time that she was

  23. leighann says:

    I am extremely sorry that a young person with promise lost their life. I hope that someone out there reads this story and thinks twice before drinking illegally, driving while intoxicated and texting while driving on a road that needs your full attention. All poor decisions that have no excuse. I pray comfort for the family and friends. I do wonder why tragedy seems to be cause to ask for donations but that is for another day.

  24. leighann says:

    Come on people…let up on the hate..these are family and friends who are grieving and the hate rhetoric is totally classless and inappropriate. Have some sensitivity. As for Pasadena being rich…what planet? These are hardworking, dedicated, middle class people who love their families.

  25. nik says:

    O.M.G i cant believe all these comments you people are out of control get a life. R.I.P young lady your in a better place. Everyone makes mistakes she just had to learn the hard way. come on people will all have made mistakes it may not have been textings and driving or drunk driving but we all made mistakes. reality check. Her family are in my prayers. And i will be donating to her nephew college fund very good decision.

  26. Ken says:

    If I asked for bread, would you give me a stone?
    and if I asked for water, would you give me vinegar?
    For those so judgemental and completely devoid of compassion.
    Have a stone and vinegar chaser.

  27. MarylandMom says:

    In this day and age, it’s heartbreaking that people are still trying to text while driving. I realize that the younger generation relies heavily on it, but by now, most people should know to ignore the text until later or pull over. Why these promising young people have not gotten this message is so sad. It’s awful to read the rude and terrible comments about the fund for the nephew. What a special way to honor this young woman. I hope someone who hears about this tragedy stops or never starts texting in a car. I hope her family finds peace somehow.

    1. emily says:

      this is wonderful. well spoken. everyone should learn from the mistakes but still cherish the life that was lost.

      and she loved her nephew. so i think its a great way to honor her as well.

  28. Tonia says:

    My prayers are with this family and her friends during this time. I do not know this young lady nor any of her family. I think that it is in really poor taste for people to leave the comments that I am reading. If you do not want to donate, then don’t!! I pray that none of you have to go through a tragedy like this. But, please have more respect for this loss of a young life and her family! God Bless You!!

  29. cms827 says:

    My sympathy to her parents

  30. jeff says:

    You’re a complete and total jerk. How would you like it if you were mourning the loss of someone you loved and others made rude gestures about them? Grow up pervert!!!!!!

  31. rachel says:

    My prayers go out to Alyssa’s family. A death is a death regardless of how it happened and any loss is hard to cope with. I don’t understand how people can sit here and bash the fact that she MAY have been drinking and she MAY have been texting. Don’t you think it’s hard enough on the family to cope with this without all you arrogant people commenting on things you don’t know about? Just because you think a neighborhood is high class does not mean these people were rich? Her nephew may have health issues and all the money goes towards medical bills. Maybe his goal is to go to college and without money it’s not possible. The fact of the matter is….don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Once again my prayers go out to her family.

    1. Ben says:

      There are so many ways to get money for college that it is always possible. I didn’t have money for college (maybe if my aunt killed herself and her family started a fund for me I would have) but that didn’t stop me from getting a degree. This is pure greed.

      1. emily says:

        this comment is atrocious. and you are absolutely repulsive.

        they were saying that IF you were to send flowers please donate to the college fund INSTEAD.

        before you pass judgment you should know what youre talking about.

        how could you say those things. you should be grateful that your aunt didnt take her life -and why you would say that is beyond me because alyssa
        didnt commit suicide.

      2. Deena Friedel says:

        Wow Ben what did you get a degree in?? We all know it wasn’t in manners!!! What an a-hole. I have heard some really horrible comments, and for those that feel they have the freedom off speech, think about if it was you who lost a
        Loved one or a good friend, would you be commenting like this. It was a horrible mistake on her part, one she will never learn from. Everyone of us have made mistakes, we are NOT GOD, nor will we ever be. As far as the donations, who cares, no one is putting a gun to everyone head, they are asking friends and family to send more instead of flowers, who cares if it is going to her nephew or to someone else college fund!!!! Some people need to get a reality check and grow up!!!

  32. whatnow says:

    Here’s a story on a party girl who’s lifestyle contributed to her death and the picture posted of her is in her “party” gear???? I hope this horrible death helps at least one young person open their eyes. To those who tell people not to post, this is America not Russia. And to the families who come on these sites and get their hearts hurt again. the funeral homes all have sites for well-wishers, go on there, don’t open your heart up for more hurt on here. R.I.P.

    1. emily says:

      how is a dress with a jacket “party gear”?! youre an imbecile.

      last time i checked just because a girl wears a dress doesnt mean shes out to “party”. maybe she was at a family function or out to dinner at a nice restaurant.

      1. Shannon L says:

        Actually the pic that was given to the media was her at a bar.

    2. Pat says:

      This was my answer to someone else, but deserves a repeat:

      I just don’t understand why you “truthmongers” feel it’s ok to stand behind your made up names and proceed to add to the suffering of friends and family. Is THAT the kind of person you want to be? Does it make you feel good that her you are going to make her loved ones cry harder?

    3. eric says:

      So she dresses up when she goes out, who doesnt? I mean what do you wear when you go out? cut off blue jeans, and a tee shirt, and one of those little hunting hats. I mean i go and dress up does that make me a partier??

  33. Patti L. says:

    I live in Pasadena. In fact this is my nieghborhood. This family is my nieghbor. My childeren are all friends of the Bennett childeren. We are hard working families that love our kids. We are rich in the fact that we are loving, compassionate people. The loss this family and community is suffering is unimagineable. This young life has been cut short tragically no matter the cause and the family and friends and community mourning her are suffering. Losing a child is a parents worst fear after becoming one. I hope none of you have to bear the wieght of this loss. Hug your kids and be thankful they are there. God Bless the Bennett family and know that they are in our hearts and prayers.

    1. Anthony says:

      It makes me sick to see how uncaring people are. I was there last night it was beautiful to see how many friends showed up. RIP Alyssa you have touched the hearts of many. Alyssas father posted on here to use his daughters death to try to reach out to other people out there to think before texting or drinking while driving.

  34. FRIEND says:


  35. Richard says:

    Alyssa was a great person to be around. I think people should have more kindness in this place. She was beautiful and smart. Happy Birthday Alyssa. I’am very sorry Mr. and Ms. Bennett for your loss she is in a great place now though.

  36. nicole says:

    Wow, people are sick! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but as being with the family everyday we would like to say get a life! She was not texting and who cares what she did she’s gone now! That’s what matters! Remembering her beautiful face and the live she lived is what matters now!

  37. Leslie says:

    May God Bless and be with you, family and friends, during your time of loss, Alyssa. You are ALL in my thoughts and prayers.

  38. donna scram says:

    Very sad.I pray for the family.God give them strength.

  39. leighann says:

    I am absolutely horrified by the insensitve, self-centered, arrogant comments that lack any sense of respect or compassion for the loved ones of this young girl. I shouldn’t be surprised since this is what we are seeing in these days.
    2 Timothy 3
    1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

    RIP Alyssa-I pray you are in a much better place.

  40. ashley says:

    you people leaving these nasty comments on here are insane. if any of you ignorant people watched the news you would have heard her dad say they dont know what caused her to crash, they havent recieved the police report. it shows how uneducated and ignorant people are. alyssa was a beautiful person inside and out and has done more with her life then half of you im sure. god bless you alyssa and your family.

  41. Marie says:

    Unbelievable. I did not know Alyssa, but she went to my high school and I know many of her friends who are hurting from this. Okay, she made a mistake. She was human, we all make mistakes. All of you people act as if you are perfect. I’m sure you would not be saying such hurtful things if this was your family member. Have a little sympathy for her poor family who had to experience this,espeically around the holidays and her birthday. Let them donate the money however they please, it is noones business. Let her nephew have the life that she was cut short of. Don’t donate if you disagree, simple as that. And for the record, Pasadena is NOT rich. I would know, I live here. R.I.P. Beautiful Angel

  42. amanda says:

    I am so sorry for her family n friends loss.i didnt know this girl but read the comments made on here n wow what has the world come to these days we all make mistakes noone is perfect and if u do think that way u need reality check…people who judge dont matter people who matter dont judge seriously people need to get a life n stop medalling in other peoples life…prayers r sent to her loved ones

  43. Drew says:

    You people need help.

  44. leighann says:

    All…..instead of responding to tasteless comments, just report it and let CBS Baltimore remove it. Don’t let some tasteless, uneducated clod draw you into an unacceptable commentary.

    1. Erica B says:

      Leighann…I’m on it. I’ve been a “reporting” fool for the past 2 hours. I just can’t get over the coldness of some people.

  45. David says:

    This family just lost their daughter and I’m disgusted that someone would leave these types of horribly dispicable comments! How about were sorry for you loss and are thoughts and prayers are with you.

  46. Shelly says:

    Leighann-how much of that bible quote applies to Alyssa herself? Possibly drinking….possibly texting? Yes, some of these comments are horrible and quite sad. I am sorry for what her family and friends have to go thru. But if you loved her so much, how could you let her make those kinds of mistakes? Yes, everyone makes mistakes, and most of us have been drunk behind the wheel and texted behind the wheel. Thank God she didn’t hurt anyone else with her. I know from experience…my brother made a similar, stupid mistake. And I lost a child because of someone else’s stupid mistake. And while I miss my brother terribly, I am more angry for what he has put our friends and family thru. Because he was boastful, proud, disobedient and conceited. And that’s what it takes to sit behind the wheel of a vehicle and do ANYTHING other than drive. Everyone, especially you young people who have seemingly no respect for anything, need to wise up and realize you are behind the wheel of a deadly weapon and you have NO right to put anyone else’s life at risk. Life is not a video game…there are no do-overs. And now her family and friends have to live with those consequences. Yes, it’s tragic. But everyone has a right to their comments. So everyone else needs to keep their “How dare you” comments to themselves. When someone makes a mistake that puts the public at large at risk…we’re allowed to comment. Maybe you should learn from Alyssa’s mistake and make something positive come from her death. In twenty years you will understand what we are all saying. Until then, you had better pray every day you are not faced with the same consequences to live thru.

    1. leighann says:

      Well Shelly, your anger at me is misplaced since I did not know Aylssa, but I know many young people like her. Full of life, having fun without fear of consequences and thinking they always have tomorrow. I can not tell you how much applies to her. This applies to all the people who are making the rude, insenstive comments. It applies to anyone who thinks their actions do not have consequences and don’t affect others. This is for the people who think they might not reap what they sow. This is for those who think they are beyond any rules. I am sorry for your loss and I pray that someday you forgive those that caused your devastating loss and the hurt caused to you. NO where did I say I personally knew her. I only said that the lack of respect for her family and friends is despicable and classless but we are seeing a sign of the times.

  47. Rod says:

    Everyone who knew her, loved her. She could light up a room with her smile. She liked horses and was kind to small children.

  48. Ben says:

    I knew Alyssa and she was a very good person. Yes, she made a mistake and paid dearly for it. Now her friends and family need to pick up the pieces and move forward. Alyssa was doing a lot with her life, she had two jobs if I remember right and was paying for her own college education. She was kind and helpful… and in particular she helped a member of my family overcome some personal trials. Her impact on the lives of those who really knew her was not small and will not be forgotten. I am writing this because I think it would be helpful for those that loved her to remember the good things, learn the lessons that are so painfully obvious, and then shut out the rest. There are people in this world who will agitate and that is exactly what is happening on this thread. Regarding the request for donations to the college fund, I know Alyssa would have liked that. This is no payday for the family, it is a college fund. Do any of the perfect strangers that are reading this article intend on donating? Probably not. For the friends and family that are seeking more information, comfort, and answers, we now know what we can do to remember her. We can help provide a better future for someone she loved and that is ok by me.

    1. Kathy & Erin says:

      Well said Ben. Ok by us too.

    2. Michael says:

      That was well written Ben; it’s refreshing to read warm, heartfelt, memories of her aside from the flippantly disdainful comments being made by some of the crusading hatemongers that frequent these threads.

      It’s impossible to surmise the entirety of Alyssa’s life by a singular news broadcast depicting this tragedy caused by a lapse in her judgment. Alyssa was undeniably a good person, but more than that, she was an impactful human being whose caring heart and enduring willpower was the cornerstone which helped her touch our lives. Couple that with her infectious laugh and a smile that could brighten the room and everyone who knew her, saw that she was someone special and that her potential was limitless.

      We will miss Alyssa and my thoughts and prayers remain with her, her loved ones, and the Bennett family.

    3. emily says:

      this was perfect.

  49. Jenn says:

    I hope that all the 200+ family and friends that attended the memorial learned a valuable lesson about how dangerous a moving vehicle may be.
    Good bless the family.

    1. Anthony says:

      You know Alyssa meant something special why else would 200 friends and family show up for her life celebration!!!

  50. Shannon P says:

    I think people are far to opinionated these days and are definitely far to vocal about it! Get a filter people! Whatever happened to compassion. I did not know this girl, but, we supposedly went to school together and we shared a lot of the same friends. I feel as though I can have a judgmental perspective just like the rest of you who did not know her and I would never in a million years judge anything the family may or may not have done or what they may or may not be doing. A young girl’s life was lost and that is always a tragedy whether it be by her own hand or some one else’s and it certainly doesn’t make it any easier on the family. Why do you people feel like it’s your job to “tell ’em like it is” or play investigator and find out how what when and why the accident happened. I’m pretty sure I read in the article that the police themselves are still investigating what went wrong. No it alls. Yes we do all have freedom of speech and the right to our opinion and yes this thread is here for a reason. But, it appears that you lack the intelligence on how to exactly use those rights. I believe the thread for this article should be used to let the family know that you are thinking or praying for them during this most difficult time. Leave the gossip for your nail salons and hair salons. I am disappointed to see that we live in a world with so much judgment and hate that you people can’t even set your opinions aside for 2 minutes to realize the real issue is that she is dead and not coming back and her family is hurting. As my grandmother always said, “If you dont have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. It would serve you all right to follow that advice instead of looking like fools on here.

  51. whatnow says:

    to Shannon P – thanks for your judgment and hate.

    1. emily says:

      youre so bitter.

      yes im judging you because you apparently think its okay to judge others so why not judge you

  52. Just one opinion says:

    So sad that this had to happen. What a terrible loss for this family no matter what the causes may have been. As far as the comments posted, isn’t this the place for people to give their opinions whether others agree or not? Kind of seems pointless to tell people to keep their opinions to themselves if this is what this site is designed for. Just saying.

  53. Kathy P says:

    I met Alyssa a few times. I know two things — she was very sweet, and she made a fatal error in judgment that has caused unimaginable pain to her family and friends. Everyone has a right to voice their opinion. Everyone also has a right to keep their hurtful opinions to themselves. Suffering the tragic loss of a daughter, sister, aunt, and friend is devastating. Please be aware of the consequences of your words. I will be praying for those who knew her and are suffering. I also pray that those that judge her and her actions never have to bear the pain that the Bennett family is enduring.

    1. Pat S says:

      Thank you for your wise comments and your compassion.

  54. That Now says:

    Yes, of course, I am the hateful one for thinking it’s terrible that people are bashing her family in their time of mourning. How dare I! – Shannon P

    1. whatnow says:

      You called people “too vocal”, “know it alls”, “lacking intelligence”, “gossipers” and “fools”. That sounds judgmental and hateful to me.

      1. Pat says:

        Shannon, I think the first poster misunderstood what you were saying. You were saying STOP PLEASE to the people showing no compassion or consideration for the family and friends.

  55. Marie says:

    WOW – I’m heartbroken for the family and pray for them. I also pray for you heartless, insensitive, rude, nasty people who take advantage of being able to post stupid comments without anyone knowing who you really are. I don’t care if she had done it before – all that matters is that someone died and left a family behind to grieve and deal with the big hole that will never be filled. The family’s request for donations in lieu of flowers is a personal choice – if you don’t like it don’t donate. Stop all the judging and insensitive comments – I know the First Amendment gives you the right to speak out, but how about using sound judgment and just stop typing. Give your kids a hug and be thankful for what you have.

  56. brittnee rice says:

    ive known the bennett family for over 14 years and i consider them my 2nd family…there only asking for donations to help with her nephews college fund there not forcing ne of you to donate…she was very close to her nephew caleb and loved him to death and she did alot with him….she was also a nanny to 2 beautiful kids that she cared for dearly….she made a bad choice but i hope we all learn from it and not have it happen again….my condelences to the bennett family!! and delaney love you alyssa and miss you dearly!!! beautiful angel!!!

  57. emily says:

    id just like to revert back to a childhood saying that so many of your mothers obviously didnt teach you…

    “if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all”

    this is not a debate and it is awful to see so many bitter comments.

    her life was lost. and while she maybe have done something wrong that doesnt mean she deserved to die, and that certainly doesnt mean she shouldnt continue to be treated with respect.

  58. MF says:

    Pearl is missing something… The article specifically says “IN LIEU OF…” which means anyone who would be donating would have otherwise bought / brought flowers (hint: spent money). This is a very common practice in funerals when the family wants other mourning folks to give money to something that would last and be meaningful to the deceased rather than flowers which cost $$ but only last so long.

    Even though investigation is still ongoing, it’s a reminder to keep your eyes on the road. No text / phone call is worth dying for.

  59. G says:

    Why are the media and everyone else so hellbent on blaming any and all accidents on cell phones or texting. When the initial article was posted, the subtitle said “texting may have caused the crash”. Read further down and the police are finally quoted at the end. It’s like the press was saying ITS ALL TEXTING’S FAULT and oh by the way, excessive speed and alcohol may have played a role.

  60. Sarina Gregg says:

    Ya know my opinion … This was a good girl.. and im sue all of you people have made mistakes in your life also. No matter what mistakes she has made look at all the good this girl did…and how much she meant to that little boy. In my eyes.. this was a wonderful life lost..and no one that knows her or her family should be arguing over this. Someone lost their life and all you want to do is argue about money, shows what kind of people you all are….If it was any of you that lost a friend,daughter,cousin,girlfriend ect you would not be saying this. please stop

    –Im soo sooo sorry for the familys loss… my bestfriend knew her and this is such a tragedy.. my prayers are with you all.

    1. Erin P says:

      Well said Sarina🙂

  61. Erin P says:

    Alyssa was a great person. I met her a handful of times and had few conversations with her. She made a mistake, who hasn’t. But you are calling this girl names because of a decision she made that took her life. How is it fair to her? You people don’t know all that happened but it’s ok for you to sit there and pass judgment on her. Yeah, yeah, yeah… Freedom of speech… What about responsibility? You just want everyone to know what you think. Well you know what, I don’t rightly care what you all think. I’m worried about how you are making their friends and family feel if they happen to read all of the hurtful and heartless comments you are making about her. You are sitting there saying how much of a horrible person she is cause she made a decision that, yes, cost her, her life.

    And to all of you idiots who think that this family has their hand out…. I don’t know how many times someone has to write it. It’s IN LIEU OF…. Not, here give me money. They are setting this up for her nephew. Do you know what her nephew went through or how his life is? No, you don’t. They would rather have him have a chance at a full life that she couldn’t have because she made a bad choice. Why hold that against a boy she obviously loved and wants a great future for? Just like if, god forbid, anything happened to any of you, you would rather have your loved ones helped with their future rather than flowers that die within a week. Yes, you would.

    Alyssa was an amazing girl who has obviously helped many people for different reasons. I will sit here and defend her because she can’t defend herself with all of the crude and hateful things you are all saying about her. She will be greatly missed by all of her friends and family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers .

  62. leighann says:

    The ugliness on this post is heart wrenching. I hope the family doesn’t look at the hate that this topic has spewed. Let him who is without sin throw the first stone. Better start dropping those rocks now. I bet half the posters here have such perfect children who never lied to them BUT wait if they did our world wouldn’t be in the shape it is in. I bet the adults posting never snuck around on their parents and did things they weren’t proud of either. I bet the young people posting NEVER lied to their parents and NEVER did something they are not proud of because the gossiping and hate mongering coming from the posters clearly shows that 3/4’s of you are guilty of the same ugliness. The saying about not trying to clean someone else’s backyard until yours is clean applies here. AND no my yard isn’t clean so I won’t pretend it is and question anyone’s motives. Get a life people and show some compassion for those who are hurting and wondering what they could do different. This family deserves compassion, this family deserves courtesy. Whether you like their in lieu of decision is not for you to judge. It is a family decision, not a democratic decision for consensus. If that is how they CHOSE to honor their daughter’s life then so be it. You don’t get a vote so get over it. It is not part of your Constitutional right.

  63. JT says:

    SERIOUSLY… this family just lost a love one and everyone wants to leave rude comments on here, open up the obituaries and read anyone of them, they all ask for donations instead of flowers, so some people think it’s ok to ask for money for a son or daughter why isn’t a nephew good enough for the same reasons. What’s it matter if it’s not your family, just saying. My thoughts and prayers are with the family

  64. Pat S says:

    BEFORE YOU POST PLEASE READ: Is it really necessary to make comments that will add further pain to the family and friends of this girl? We all know she used very bad judgement and paid the ultimate price. Let’s just learn from this and move on.

    If you STILL feel the need to write something nasty in anonymity, this says more about you and your desire to hurt then it does about the situation..

    1. pattie ebright says:

      Pattie Ebright
      I so agree Pat S.

  65. pattie ebright says:

    Pattie Ebright
    God Bless the Bennet Family!

    OMG!!! really people????? Grow up!

  66. R | Pasadena says:

    Tick Neck Road has a 30 MPH speed limit. It is a very narrow (and curvy in some places) residential neighborhood street with many houses only a few feet from the roadway.

    If it weren’t for the tree that stopped her progress as she lost control while drunk/distracted, she would’ve almost certainly plowed into a house where people (including kids with or without a college fund, perhaps) were sleeping at 2 o’clock in the morning on Christmas Eve, in anticipation of waking up to open packages on Christmas Day.

    Do people here realize how much WORSE this could’ve been?

    Several important lessons should be staring some of you right in the face. Especially those who think it’s practically a requirement to have fake IDs and that those who don’t, “don’t know how to have fun.” You know who you are.

    1. eric says:

      Did you the the girl? how do you know she had a fake ID? I mean i hardly knew her, but she look like she was 21 or older, and I have been to a few bars in the pasadena/glen burnie/ annapolis area not going to name them, they dont check Ids hardly ever unless your a guy, but still you have no idea if she had a fake Id or not.

      1. eric says:

        Did you know the the girl? how do you know she had a fake ID? I mean i hardly knew her, but she look like she was 21 or older, and I have been to a few bars in the pasadena/glen burnie/ annapolis area not going to name them, they dont check Ids hardly ever unless your a guy, but still you have no idea if she had a fake Id or not.

      2. R | Pasadena says:

        No, I don’t know the girl but I hate to inform you that it was one of her own enabler friends who brought up fake IDs and Ms. Bennett in the same sentence and context.

        Furthermore, which has higher precedence — that she LOOKED 21 or older or that she WAS 19? And bars not checking IDs is what part of your point…or do you have a point?

      3. eric says:

        My point being that she wouldnt of needed a fake id beacuse bars in this area don’t check id’s reguarly.and where ive read the story in the news paper and i saw the video unless I am missing it which i could be where does it say that her friends said that she has a fake ID? if you point it out i will gladly read it.

      4. R | Pasadena says:

        Here you go, sir. Don’t forget to read between the lines. Enjoy…



        “hello everyone … alyssa was an amazing girl ! & as for the fake id who in this world hasnt had one & those who didnt just didnt know how to have fun & im sure alyssa would relive every second of her life the way she did ( outgoing & fun )”


      5. eric says:

        Ok you pulled it up, i am not ashamed to be proven wrong stuipd comment by a person that knew heri just never seen a fake id used in bars around here, they(the bars)(or bouncers) or whoever is suppose to check ids dont, and if they do its only guys, i know fake ids were big back in like the 80’s and 90’s. but thanks your for finding the comment i was proven worng, not afrid to admit that.And one more thing arent you as bouncers or who ever is suppose to check ids, arent you suppose to tell the difference between a fake id and a real one?

      6. R | Pasadena says:

        I don’t go to bars and what not anymore, so you definitely speak with more authority (about bar employees not checking for IDs). That is a very big violation and sounds to me like there needs to be more enforcement.

        I do acknowledge that it can be hard if the person looks 21 and the fake ID looks authentic — this is where friends and family need to step up and check on their loved ones. Don’t glamorize, condone, turn a blind eye, or be an enabler. A life can be saved…sadly too late for Alyssa.

      7. eric says:

        Well Put R. Hopefully other people can learn from this that texting, speeding and drinking are all dangerous, but when you do all three its just deadly. And I do agree about more enforcemnet with checking IDS.

  67. Shocked says:

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions, this is true.

    I did not know Alyssa nor do I know her family. What I do know is I was a teenager and am raising children now. I was raised to know right from wrong, what was legal, what wasn’t. I always didn’t abide by that. I had respect for myself and others and still made decisions that today still make me cringe. I teach my children right from wrong,self respect and respect for others and sometimes they forget that too. It doesn’t make us all bad people, it just means that good people can make bad decisions. No matter what, she was someone’s daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. Most of all, she was human. My heart goes out to this family, they had to deal with losing their daughter on Christmas Eve. Yes, it could have been worse but IT WASN’T. Alyssa, her family and friends have paid for her decision, no one else.

    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean lack of compassion, we all have family that can make decisions we don’t agree with at any time, it doesn’t take the hurt of a loss away.

  68. Debbie says:

    I can’t believe all the negative comments being left. The tragedy is that this family lost their daughter, family member or friend that they loved very much. Where is every ones compassion? As a parent I can only imagine the sorrow and pain that they are feeling. My heart goes out to this family for there loss. It is not uncommon for family to ask instead of flowers to donate money for another cause. Flowers are very expensive and just die

  69. j in the dena says:

    yes i believe people have a right to there opinion but when its nasty and as insensitive as these have been please keep them to yourself, The bennett family is going through enough right now they do not need the negative comments. yes she made a mistake but since her accident i can honestly say i have not text and if i recieve one i remember what her family is going through and put the phone down. RIP Alyssa you were a beautiful girl pasadena is missing another angel!

  70. Jennifer says:

    I’m coming home
    I’m coming home
    Tell the World I’m coming home
    Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday
    I know my kingdom awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes
    I’m coming home, I’m coming home
    Tell the World that I’m coming

    Heard this song and instantly thought of the vigil we held in your honor.
    RIP sweetie- I miss you dearly!

  71. Lindsey says:

    If you don’t want to read the negative comments then stay off the site you expect people to change their opinions and its just not gonna happen. I had two friends killed by a drunk driver and she didn’t care. I’m 20 and have never gotten in a car drunk because I think about the other people on the road (something most kids my age clearly don’t think about) I’m not speaking negatively towards her but maybe she should have thought about it or texted someone to come pick her up. Its sad that a life was lost that close to christmas but some of you would be thinking different if her judgment affected someone elses family. And if she did have a fake I.D. Then yeah she probably was a party girl you don’t get a fake I.D. For just one night.

  72. Jennifer says:

    My goodness! An accident happened. A horrible, horrible accident. ONE person was involved and she lost her life due to a MISTAKE on her part. Leave her family alone. And pray for their peace. The arguing over the “in lieu of flowers” request is absolutely ridiculous. This was not a public plea for donations. This was a reporter posting as much info as possible. It’s taken directly from the obituary. Thats it. And honestly, there is nothing that says that a request of a donation in lieu of flowers be made to a charity. I’ve seen plenty of obituaries that ask for a donation be made in so and so’s name at such and such bank. What’s the difference? At least this way you’ll know where the money is going. When you donate to a bank account, you could be paying for someone’s electrolysis or alcoholism or anything. Now, a little boy, who this girl apparently cared a great deal for has something positive made from something so tragic. If you don’t like it, don’t send money. If you’d rather send flowers, then do that. Either way, do what you’re going to and stop this nonsense on here. My God! My prayers to the family and friends.

  73. hvillage says:

    Right, a candle light vigil for a girl who took into her own irresponsible hands, the lives of every man, woman & child who shared the road with her that night. If you loved her, fine, great…have at it. But I have a right to be outraged by her reckless, selfish behavior and I have a right to voice that opinion on a PUBLIC OPINION COMMENT FORUM. If you don’t like it, don’t read it, and if you read it, feel free to defend her. I can give you two very precious reasons to be angry at her and everyone like her.

  74. StateTrooper says:

    Moral of the story…driving drunk, texting, and doing twice the speed limit on a 30 mph road don’t mix. Sorry for the loss, hope it’s a lesson to all. I see this kind of tragedy all the time. When will people learn they aren’t invincible…

  75. Aleta says:

    I’m sure that every one of us had had one of THOSE moments, where something we did COULD have had a HORRIFIC outcome……BUT, in the nick of time, we corrected our course and avoided tragedy. Maybe in a swift physical action, or maybe in a long thought-out change of our life style. I can’t believe all these people have never suddenly had their car, or their life, ALMOST veer out of control, and miraculously straighten out. Poor Alyssa didn’t have those few extra seconds to get back in control that night. If she had, it may have even scared her enough not to take chances when she was driving. This was a terrible tragedy for her and her family. And it’s also terrible how many self righteous people need to say unkind things about it

      1. hvillage says:

        no, not a good point: a mistake is looking away for a second. a mistake is hitting the gas when you mean to hit the break. SHE DELIBERATELY GOT BEHIND THE WHEEL AFTER DRINKING. SHE DELIBERATELY DROVE OVER THE SPEED LIMIT. SHE DELIBERATELY DISTRACTED HERSELF BY TEXTING. THESE are not “oops” moments. This was selfish, inconsiderate and her family is suffering because of HER DELIBERATE actions. Those people who are angry are angry because she put us all at risk and she put her family through hell.

  76. Peace Lily says:

    How about “in lieu of flowers send us your prayers and condolences as we have got the funeral expensense covered”. The nephews college fund is irrelevant and the responsibilty of his living parents, grandparents and family. It seems the families need at this hour is love, support, peace and comfort. End of discussion.

  77. Peace Lily says:

    How about “in lieu of flowers, please send the family your prayers and condolences as they have the funeral expenses covered”. The nephew’s college fund is irrelevant and should remain the responsibiilty of his presumed living parents and/or grandparents. It seems what the family needs most now is love, peace, and comfort. That’s all that should be asked for and all that should be rendered. End of disucssion.

  78. Jenna says:

    isnt it a little funny all of Gary’s children have a criminal record..the family wants money for the boys cuz the mommy’s n daddy’s get into too much trouble. google casesearch and type in their names they all have criminal records and problems with sppeding..And the recent pregnant daughter has quite a long rap sheet.

  79. shannon L. says:

    Alyssa was always out drinking and partying..Never did i think this could happen to her..she was a wonderful friend..I just want people to think TWICE about

  80. shannonn L. says:

    Alyssa was always out drinking and partying..Never did i think this could happen to her..she was a wonderful friend..I just want people to think TWICE about DRINKING & DRIVING! May Alyssa Rest In Peace. She is now in God’s hands.

  81. Leigh Ann says:

    People what is done is done, let this family and her friends have solace in the girl they knew, not the ugly picture that is being painted by the detractors who think by virtue of her actions think they “know” her and can make the reckless comments that they are making. Get over it and get on with your lives and let the family and friends heal without your nasty rhetoric. She is in God’s hand’s and where she ended is based on what was in her heart and not what you paint her to be. “Judgment is mine sayeth the Lord” “Let him without sin cast the first stone.” Now put your rocks down and go on with your lives. This topic has run its course.

  82. Bobbie says:

    No, its not appropriate to give money to a nephew. I could not believe I was reading that. you tell people to either give flowers or a charity of their choosing or maybe AA in this case. give to the ASPCA. Animals need it as well…I came up with 10K within a day. Funerals are expensive and are paid in cash. my daughter died. I got that knock on the door at midnight., Its still horrible for me.

  83. Sharon says:

    This article was about a young woman’s death. It was not a solicitation for money, just similar to an obitiuary. They simply asked that in lieu of flowers, that the money be sent to a fund for the nephew in her name. We all have errors in judgement, hers cost her her life. Learn from others mistakes, the next time it could be your sister, mother, father, brother, etc…even you. Our society has lost its compassion and moral compass. Don’t judge everyone else. We all live in glass houses.

    1. eric says:

      Thank you sharon!

  84. tylerjake says:

    Gee would everyone have been as upset if she would have been texting, drunk and ran into a van with YOUR family? Plus to ask for money for a relative’s college fund…..very tacky.

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