TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Friends and family held a special balloon release on Wednesday in honor of 17-year-old Lilly Thornburgh who died this week after a crash involving a driver accused of being intoxicated.

Thornburgh’s birthday was on Wednesday, and she would have turned 18. She was also a part of the school band.

The balloon release was organized by Avery and Katie Curbow, Elizabeth and Corey, who were close friends with Thornburgh and said she loved balloons.

The event happened at 8 p.m. in Pollard Park in Tyler. More than 100 people attended the event.

Organizers said they were happy about the turnout.

“It was really heartwarming to see all of the community gather together to celebrate her and to celebrate her birthday and to really just love on her parents and show them that even though she is gone, she is not forgotten. And, she won’t ever be forgotten,” said Avery.

She also spoke to Thornburgh’s parents.

“I talked to them, and they said that just seeing us all group up together they could still see Lilly in us. They’re just really, really happy that we all just love on her so much,” said Avery.

Thornburgh’s friends also said they hope this tragic crash reminds people of the dangers of drunk driving.

“We’re really sad about how this happened, but we hope that this can bring awareness to drunk driving and how big of an issue it is,” said Avery.

Thornburgh had a contagious laugh, according to her friends.

“She was the best kind of person,” said Katie Curbow, who was in the band with Thornburgh.

Organizers said they were grateful for everyone that attended.

“It was perfect. Lilly would have loved it, and I think that it showed her family that Lilly was very loved,” said Elizabeth LaMott, Thornburgh’s friend.