Tornado victims remembered -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tornado victims remembered

April 20, 2007

Newton - Nine-year old Kierra Crumbley and 12-year-old Kursty Thomas, were two of the six victims who were killed in the March 1st tornado in Baker County. Friday, classmates remembered the girls and honored their families by planting two young saplings to represent the girls.

Young and vibrant and growing, a symbol of everything Kierra Crumbley and Kursty Thomas were on that March night when they lost their lives. "I miss all three of them I lost. I'm sorry about everything I had to lose," said Manerva Crumbley. 

Kierra was her granddaughter. She also lost her two sisters, 45-year old Joan Brinkley and 42-year old Willie Sue Brinkley in the twister.

"She was so joyful. I miss her everyday," adds Jeanette King, Kierra's cousin. Jasmine Hawkins says her cousin was best known for her smile. "She always kept a smile on her face," said Jasmine.

As did Kursty Thomas. Her family says the trees are a wonderful reminder of the sweet little girl. "It's beautiful. We have fond memories of her, we love her and it's good to know everybody else loves her too," said Robbin Thomas.  

And she says even through the pain of losing Kursty, along with her mother and stepfather, 36-year old Phyllis Thomas Owens and 40-year old Daron Owens, the family has grown stronger.

Thomas says, "It just made us come closer. We got closer from it. We thank God for everyday. We just love each other and stay close." And close to the memories of the ones they lost.

Teachers decided to plant the trees in conjunction with earth day, to help preserve the environment and the memory of the girls.