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Orange County wreck victim overcame tragedy with a smile

Posted February 12, 2012
Updated February 14, 2012

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— 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. 

Father remembers Orange County wreck victim always had a smile Father: Orange County wreck victim always had a smile

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)."

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  • toot Feb 14, 2012

    Also, thw speed limit on this road is 55mph. There are no posted signs. The road is not safe at 45mph either and should be posted, but after many requests for years by the residents of the area the road has not been posted. But in reality, inexperience caused this wreck.

    The NC DOT says this:
    If no signs are posted, the General Statutes of North Carolina set all speed limits outside of municipalities at 55 m.p.h. and within municipal limits at 35 m.p.h. These can be changed by ordinances enacted by NCDOT. Changes, either higher or lower, inside city limits, require the agreement of the municipality and NCDOT. If signs are not posted in areas outside municipalities, the speed limit is officially 55 m.p.h. When NCDOT conducts a speed zone study and recommends a speed limit, a draft ordinance is submitted to the NCDOT State Traffic Engineer's Office for approval. When it is approved, the NCDOT Division Traffic Services Unit installs the speed limit signs.

  • Feb 13, 2012

    My daughter Beth Shivers "WAS" wearing her seat belt according to paramedics I spoke to today that cut it off to remove her from the car.

  • lizard78 Feb 13, 2012

    I'm sorry, he did loss 2 babies with his first wife. He's been through too much. This seems to happen to the best people.

  • lizard78 Feb 13, 2012

    3 children? No, he lost his wife and this one child. Which is more than enough? Beth was so beautiful inside and out.

  • Momma Feb 13, 2012

    I do not live far from the area, and have traveled on this road on the way to Mebane before but not regularly. The unpaved portion of this road seems very dangerous because of the hills and curves. This is such a tragedy! Many prayers for the families involved.

  • btneast Feb 13, 2012

    These girls died because this tiny stretch of unpaved road is especially dangerous, a fact of which local residents and the DOT are well aware.

    ....no, they died because they were speeding on a gravel road and not wearing seat belts. Millions of people drive on unpaved roads every day.

  • krazikatt2 Feb 13, 2012

    Wow. What an strong man to endure such tragedy and still have the power to move on. My prayers to the family and friends of these young ladies. It is terrible to see youth taken from the world like this.

  • westernwake1 Feb 13, 2012

    This fmaily has faced a lot of difficult times. I hope that Jim Shivers' future goes more smoothly. He has tremendous strength to deal with all of this tragedy.

  • Wendellcatlover Feb 13, 2012

    I cannot imagine...did I read this correct that he has now lost 3 children and his wife? This family has been given almost too much to bear. My strongest prayers are going up for them now.

  • FromClayton Feb 13, 2012

    well i'm just going to take my little problems and take a big ol dose of shut the * up. good lord. talk about prespective. the poor man has buried 3 babies and a wife. The strength that man has is amazing.

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