10 years gone, but not forgotten: Family, friends remember Armstrong's Kiera-Leigh Carlson - InfoNews

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10 years gone, but not forgotten: Family, friends remember Armstrong's Kiera-Leigh Carlson

Kiera-Leigh Carlson
Image Credit: FACEBOOK
April 28, 2020 - 7:30 PM

ARMSTRONG - Along with birthdays, anniversaries and other traditions, the Carlson family has another date that marks the passage of time: the day 22-year-old Kiera-Leigh was hit by a speeding car and killed
while walking to work.

That day is April 30, and this year marks 10 years since she died.

“I didn’t think I’d make it through the first year,” her mom, Bev Carlson admits.

Somehow, with the support of family and friends, she got through the first year. Then the second, the third, and all the years in between, not a day going by where she didn’t think about her daughter.

“I don’t know how to keep people remembering her. I don’t want her to be forgotten, she can’t be,” Bev says.

In the past, Bev, along with Kiera-Leigh’s father Len and the rest of their family and friends, have held a memorial gathering to honour and remember her at the intersection of Aberdeen Road and Highway 6, where
she was killed. This year, they had planned to gather, put on a BBQ, play Kiera-Leigh’s favourite music, light candles, and most importantly just be together: a chance to reconnect with friends and share happy memories.

“With the pandemic, you know, plans just came to a screeching halt,” Bev says.

Like so many people across the country, the Kiera-Leigh’s family and friends are now trying to figure out how to grieve in isolation.

“She was, for 22 years, a huge personality in life,” Bev says of her daughter. “She touched so many people and I know there are still lots of people who remember her.”

Kiera-Leigh was someone who made an impression. She adored crazy outfits, high heels, and being goofy. Her friends remember her as someone who was “happy all the time” and who loved to laugh.

While gatherings remain banned under country-wide social distancing regulations, Bev is hoping there is still a way that people can come together to remember Kiera-Leigh.

“I welcome anybody to head out to the memorial site, just make sure you do the social distancing and not show up at the same time,” she says.

She’s hoping that people will use the Facebook page ‘Kiera-Leigh Carlson You Will Be Missed” to arrange a visitation schedule so not everyone is arriving at once.

“I encourage people to go and light a candle. And if you can’t go out, light a candle at home. Just remember her,” Bev says.

Remember, too, to slow down for Kiera. It’s a slogan that graces the bumpers of many vehicles in the Okanagan and a message that can save lives in the name of a woman who lost hers far too soon. A quantity of
bumper stickers will be available at the memorial site on April 30.

Anyone is welcome to take one. To find out more and join a Facebook group dedicated to Carlson, go here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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