NORMAN — Every Thanksgiving, Moore resident Dawn Layne makes a trip with her family to Purcell, but this trip isn’t so they can eat turkey and relax.
Instead, the Laynes walk through a quiet graveyard and remember their bubbly, caring 19-year-old daughter, Alicia, as they lay a grave blanket on top of her resting place.
Layne has made a grave blanket every year with laminated pictures of her daughter and family since her daughter’s death in a tragic accident in June 2003.
Eleven years after Layne lost her daughter, she has written “The Bittersweet Promise” in an attempt to help others who face loss heal and find support in her story.
Layne — along with her husband, Roger, and children Laura Tyler, Michaela Layne and Ethan Layne — has made the choice to live life to the fullest and forgive the driver who caused her daughter’s fatal car wreck.
The night of the collision, Layne’s two daughters, Alicia and Laura “Boo,” who was 15, attended a Billy Graham youth rally out of town. On their way home to Purcell, where the family lived at the time, the girls’ vehicle was hit by a semi truck on Interstate 35.
The semi was tailing a woman driving behind Alicia and Laura when it suddenly went around the lady and then the two girls. As the truck passed the girls, it clipped their vehicle and sent them across the median, which didn’t have barriers at the time. Alicia and Laura’s vehicle hit a van, spun around, then came back to the median area, where it rested.
Alicia died at the scene and Laura was air flown to a trauma center with a less than 1 percent chance of living. Evidence later emerged that the truck driver hit Alicia and Laura’s vehicle on purpose, but the driver has never been caught and the event is listed as a homicide, Layne said.