Wednesday, June 23, 2004

16-year-old dazed after wreck kills her cousin



By Reid Forgrave
Enquirer staff writer

[photo]
From left to right, Sasha Storer, Brittany Back and Tiffany Storer pose for the camera.
Photo provided

WILLIAMSBURG TWP. - Less than a day after Brittany Back phoned her mother at 11 p.m. with these words - "Mommy, I'm sorry, I wrecked" - the 16-year-old sat on her front porch with her mom and dad, still dazed from the Monday night accident that killed her 14-year-old cousin and close friend, Tiffany Storer.

"It just hurts so bad when I see it on the news," a teary Brittany, cuts and stitches marking her face, arms and legs, said to her parents. "It makes it sound like I did it on purpose."

"You didn't do it on purpose," her mother, Tammy Wade, replied, clutching photos of Tiffany and Brittany posing like Charlie's Angels. "You know what it is? God has a plan for all of us, and it was Tiffany's time to go."

Parents, friends and family console her, saying Tiffany, seated in the back, should have buckled up.

"You weren't drinking," her father, Rusty, added. "You weren't on drugs. It wasn't your fault."

At least 17 teens have died in traffic crashes in Greater Cincinnati since February.

Brittany was driving her 1996 Pontiac Sunfire south on Dela Parma Road near the Clermont-Brown county line shortly before 11 p.m. Monday.

Brittany, Tiffany and Tiffany's sister, Sasha Storer, were bringing groceries to a relative.

At a curve, Brittany lost control, and the car veered off the right side, struck a sign and a tree, then overturned, police said.

Tiffany was ejected from the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brittany and Sasha were treated at Clermont Mercy Hospital. Police are investigating the accident.

In the midst of making funeral arrangements - tentatively set for Thursday - the family continued on Tuesday to remember the ebullient girl who moved in with her aunt and uncle less than a year ago in search of a more stable, loving family life.She loved the Wades' tightly knit household of five kids and two parents.

Tiffany, who had been in and out of foster care, moved here midway through this school year, but that didn't stop the always-smiling girl from making friends quickly.

Her history teacher, Shawn Whisman, said Tiffany energized the entire classroom.

Whisman would play pop music before class, and Tiffany would start dancing and singing to the music.

"She would be so bubbly, even before class," Whisman said. "Everyone else was straggling in, then they would start laughing and get giggly when they saw Tiffany. You always love to have students like that in class."

Counselors will be on hand today at Williamsburg High School for students and parents, said Williamsburg High School principal Matt Earley.

Tiffany, set to enter the ninth grade after completing summer school, attended church weekly at Bible Baptist Church in Mt. Orab. But her biggest love was music - specifically karaoke and KISS 107 FM.

The first page of her journal had a wish list for life. She wanted to become an actress, a model or a singer.

And on the last page of the journal, she wrote in big red letters, just a couple days ago: "The Bible, yes, that's the book for me. I stand outside the word of God the B-I-B-L-E."

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
Voinovich battles for roads
Wrecked cycle, six-foot cross warn mourners
14 years old, 2 murder charges
Cameras give kids a new view

IN THE TRISTATE
Police hold hair stylist's boyfriend
Beaten 8-year-old slightly improved
City Hall changes - times 5
Clinton's tome slow out of gate
Judge calls for Warren prosecutor to resign
Voters positive; Kings ups levy
News briefs
Parents of Reservist meet privately with Bush
Neighbors briefs
Carina nine years gone; dad says system failed
Public Safety briefs
Symmes rejected as YMCA partner
Taft says tech issue might return
16-year-old dazed after wreck kills her cousin
Center's 1st reading low-key

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Teen volunteers help at library

LIVES REMEMBERED
Louis Voelker was long-time fire chief in Deer Park

KENTUCKY STORIES
'I've opened some doors'
VP Cheney to speak for Davis
Priest pleads guilty to molesting boy, 14
Club Chef bringing 350 jobs
City may raise tickets, fees
Ky. man faces 44 years in kidnapping