Local News

Friends, Family Gather To Remember Raleigh Crash Victim

Posted December 9, 2004

— An underage driver has been charged in a crash that took the life of his passenger on Wednesday.

The State Highway Patrol said 14-year-old Corbin Bilger has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and larceny of a vehicle. He has been released to a juvenile intake officer in Wake County.

Briana Rawls, 15, a passenger, was killed in the crash on Mid-Pines Road, near Tryon Road. Bilger was able to escape from the car.

On Thursday, friends and family gathered at the scene to remember Rawls. They set up a memorial near the tree where she died.

"She always smiled, her bright red, curly hair or when she would wriggle her ears -- it's those things that, you know, you have to remember to get through these kinds of times," said Susan Berry, Rawls' cousin.

"She was so tender-hearted and so giving. I don't understand why she had to be taken from us," said Kathy Rawls, Briana's mother.

Investigators believe the Honda Civic was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran off the road, hit a tree and exploded. On Thursday, some people added more dirt to form a speed bump in the road in hopes that a similar accident never takes place on the road.

Friends of the Athens Drive High School students told investigators that the teens may have taken a relative's car for a joyride.

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