Steven in his wheelchair with his brace on (Source: Facebook)
Steven with his hat on that a loved one brought him. (Source: Facebook)
Trainor with his hat on that a loved one brought him. (Source: Facebook)
MADISON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
After a tragic car crash took the life of a Flora woman last month and injured five other occupants of the vehicle, friends and family are using a popular social media site to update one another, and even complete strangers, on the healing progress.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 27, six young people ages 18 to 22 were in a pick-up truck on Highway 22, just outside Flora, in Madison County. The driver, Tyler Renicker, 22, reportedly lost control of the vehicle, flipping the truck several times.
According to Mississippi Highway Patrol Corporal Odis Easterling, 20-year-old Rachel Hillman was killed in the crash. She was thrown from the cab of the white, Ford F-150 during the 3:30 a.m. crash.
In the days following the tragic crash, the five other victims involved underwent numerous surgeries and tests. Their families and friends have turned to Facebook to not only find comfort in one another's words, but those from people they have never met.
"While I do not know these young people personally, know that you have friends of friends praying for their recovery and strength. God bless & happy New Year," wrote Greenville, MS resident RyAnne Nicole Williams.
The small town's heartbeat stopped for a moment with the news of 20-year-old Rachel Hillman's death. But the legacy she leaves behind is one they hope will be far-reaching with the help of social media.
"She had one of the biggest hearts I know. She was constantly thinking about others, her family, her friends. 'What can I do for you? Call if you need me'," explained Hillman's lifelong friend Chanse Jones.
It was that spirit of giving that compelled Hillman's family and friends to start discussions for a foundation in her memory.
"I think that's where I find my comfort is saying, 'well you know, this has happened. This is real life but at the same time, what are we going to do?' We can't ask why, you know? What are we going to do to move forward? What are we going to do with this platform we've been given?" said Jones.
Rachel's Heart Foundation will help others have the opportunity to share their faith through missions. Her reach lives through a Twitter account that has just under 400 followers.
"It seems really fitting that we do this in her honor because we know that is what she would want," said Jones.
While the Hillman family has only just begun their grieving, beginning this foundation has been a saving grace.
"There are moments that are really difficult and then there are moments as we talk about Rachel's Heart Foundation that there's a glimpse of hope and there's a glimpse of encouragement and healing that's begun to take place in that process," described Dwayne Parker, youth pastor at First Baptist Flora.
There's a long road of recovery ahead but they're putting faith in the power of giving. As plans for the foundation develop, family and friends will update the Rachel's Heart Facebook page.
"I think it gives all of us an avenue to kind of express our grief. We are grieving and we are hurting but this foundation is going to give us an avenue to put that energy into something positive and to focus on, hey, we can bring something good out of something very very bad," said Parker.
Donations can be made through the Bank Plus in Flora.
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