TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A man was charged with intoxicated manslaughter for a crash in Tyler that severely injured and ultimately killed a Tyler Legacy High School student.
24-year-old Jason Charles was booked on Saturday for the Friday night crash. The crash caused the death of Lilly Thornburgh, who was a member of the school band.
Her family took her off life support Monday night. She would turn 18 on Wednesday.
“You always hear about it, like ‘oh, somebody was hit, that’s so sad, I hope they’re okay’,” Lilly’s best friend, Avery Curbow, said. “When it’s somebody that you’re so close to that you’ve known for so long, it’s really, really difficult to process it and think about it and really understand what actually happened.”
Katie Curbow, Lilly’s best friend, talked about how Lilly was so nice to her and everyone.
“I had come from a school that wasn’t in Tyler ISD so I didn’t know anyone and she was the only person I talked to for a while, and she didn’t even know me and she was just so nice to everyone,” said Katie Curbow.
Photos have been shared with KETK News of Thornburgh with friends and other band members. Since the ages and identities of other students pictured are not known, many faces have been blurred.
“It doesn’t seem like something that would happened to someone you know, so close to you. It’s hard. It still doesn’t even feel real,” said Katie Curbow.
After visiting Lilly in the hospital, her friends miss her even more.
“It’s not who I remember her as, and I try to not let that be who I remember her as… someone who was laying in the hospital on her death bed,” said Avery Curbow.
According to police, Charles was driving a black Chevy Silverado and hit the back of Lilly’s Dodge Ram, both were traveling northbound on the 2800 block of S. Broadway Avenue around 11:50 p.m.
Charles was initially charged with intoxicated assault, but now is charged with intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle. Charles is being held in the Smith County Jail on a cumulative $650,000 bond.