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Mother of student killed in Zebulon wreck embraces, forgives driver

Posted October 3
Updated October 4

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— Dozens of people gathered Monday at a rural intersection in Franklin County where a teenager died in a car crash Saturday night.

Two days ago, Tiffany Smith lost her daughter in a car crash. In front of friends and family who loved her, she embraced the teenager charged in the wreck.

“I want him to know that I love him and I forgive him,” Smith said.

On Saturday night, 18-year-old Tachina Smith was a backseat passenger in a car that was approaching the corner of Williams-White Road and Pilot-Riley Road in Zebulon. Troopers said the driver of the vehicle, Makel Breece-Melvin, 18, ran a stop sign and collided with a vehicle driven by Joy Hood Allen of Goldsboro. After impact, Breece-Melvin's vehicle ran off the road and collided with a sign, fence post and tree before coming to a stop.

Breece-Melvin is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and a stop sign violation.

Tiffany Smith said she had to forgive Breece-Melvin because she’s known him for years and watched him grow up.

“He is not a bad kid, he has never been a bad kid,” she said.

Tachina Smith was a graduate of Vernon-Malone College and Career Academy in Raleigh and had just started attending UNC Pembroke with plans to go into the medical field.

Funeral services for Tachina Smith are scheduled for Saturday but those who knew her returned to the scene of the accident Monday night for a vigil.

“I want to hold her and love her, but I know that is not going to happen,” Tiffany Smith said of her daughter. “It hurts. No parent wants to bury a child.”

John Thompson lives at the intersection where the crash happened and heard the collision Saturday night. He said he has heard many accidents over the years and believes the intersection is dangerous. After Saturday’s crash, people in the area are calling for improvements to the intersection

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  • Kelly Birdsall Oct 4, 12:02 p.m.
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    I'm so so sorry for all involved!!!!