Orange County wreck victim overcame tragedy with a smile
Posted February 12, 2012
Updated February 14, 2012
Hillsborough, N.C. — The father of an Efland 19-year-old who was killed in a wreck Saturday remembers his daughter as a young woman with a smile on her face, even when her world was full of tragedy.
Beth Shivers was just 13 when she was diagnosed with brain cancer, father Jimmy Shivers said Sunday. Her mother had died two years earlier from the same disease.
"There was a 50 percent chance that she would even make it; 75 percent if she could do radiation on top of the surgery," Jimmy Shivers said.
But Beth Shivers beat the odds. The Make-a-Wish Foundation even sent the family to Florida to celebrate her recovery.
On Saturday morning, though, Beth Shivers' life was cut short when her friend, 16-year-old Samantha Faith Tilley, veered off Buckhorn Road near Mebane and crashed into a tree.
Both girls were killed.
Tilley was a sophomore at Cedar Ridge High School and Shivers, who graduated from Cedar Ridge in 2011, was a freshman at the University of North Carolina Pembroke.
Jim Shivers said he doesn't blame Tilley for his daughter's death.
"It was just an accident," he said.
Troopers said speed was a factor in the wreck. Tilley was traveling 55 mph on the dirt road, where the posted speed limit is 45 mph.
Mitchell Shivers, Beth Shivers' brother, said his sister was the "coolest person" he ever met.
"My sister basically raised me," he said.
It's not the first time the family has mourned a lost child. Jim Shivers' first two sons died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
"I should have lost it with the first child. Who would have expected the expect child?" he said.
Now, he's grieving for Beth Shivers.
"I was strong for my kids when my wife died," Jim Shiver said. "I'll be strong for my son (now)."