Mother mourns daughter, comforts driver of car in deadly accident

Posted at 10:25 PM, May 31, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-01 10:05:33-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - It’s not supposed to happen this way.

That’s what Danielle Herrin kept saying, over and over at her home Thursday afternoon.

On Saturday she’ll have a memorial service for her 15-year-old daughter Shaylin. Herrin says children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around.

"It's a nightmare,” said Herrin. “I want my baby back.” Her distraught son, 12-year-old A.J. said simply, “ I want my sister."

Choking back tears Herrin says she’s holding onto the good memories including pictures and videos of Shaylin horsing around in the front yard with friends.

In time Herrin hopes such mementos erase the horrifying images of Wednesday night’s crash scene from her mind.

"You never want to feel or hear a state cop look at you and tell you your daughter died in a car accident,” said Herrin. “She was just too young."

Shaylin was a passenger in the car that wrecked in a corn field off Carson Road in Dinwiddie just after 9 p.m. Wednesday. She was coming home from a youth event at church. She was not wearing a seat belt.

Ninteen-year-old Timothy Quarles was the driver of that car.

“It happened so fast,” he said. “I wish I could take it back. I could hear Austin scream, but didn't hear Shay. I called her name. I was looking for her."

State troopers say the 2009 Nissan Maxima flipped at least five times and say Shaylin was pinned underneath. In that split second, her young life was taken, leaving behind family and friends to grieve, and wondering why it was Shaylin’s time.

Herrin finds herself comforting Quarles, her daughter’s best friend, begging him not to blame himself.

"The Lord was going to take her, whether it was last night, tonight, a week or year from now,” she said. “OK?"

Her family says Shaylin, a ninth grader, was affectionately known as “Lips” because of her sassy and sometimes stubborn attitude. She was a member of the J-ROTC and told her mom she couldn’t wait to graduate and join the Air Force.

Quarles has been charged with reckless driving -- failure to maintain proper control. State police say neither alcohol nor speed was a factor in the crash.