FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Friends and family are remembering the life of Bishop Dwenger sophomore, Haley Nellum, who was killed in a drunk driving accident over the weekend.
“It’s so unreal,” Laura Nellum, Haley’s mother said. “I’m still trying to convince myself that it even happened.”
According to investigators, Jeremy D. Washington, 35, was speeding away from a shooting at a Fort Wayne bar and ran a red light at the intersection of Stellhorn Road and Hobson Road early Saturday morning. He hit Nellum’s car driving eastbound on Stellhorn Road. Nellum was unconscious and unresponsive when officers arrived, according to Anthony. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her mother, Laura, was heading home at the time and passed the accident. She said she knew her daughter had only had her license for eight days and was coming home from a friend’s house. She said the accident was only three blocks away from their home, and she could only hope that her daughter’s car would be in the driveway, but when she got home, it wasn’t.
“I got my cell phone out, and I was calling and texting her, but she wasn’t answering or responding,” Laura said.
She said she must have fallen asleep because the next thing she remembered is waking up to a knock at her door and answering to police confirming her worst fear.
“I miss my baby,” she said. “I miss Haley.”
She said her daughter had dreams of becoming a nutritionist and was extremely active and athletic. This past basketball season, Haley was moved up from junior varsity to varsity. In the off season, she even helped her coach with the 8th grade teams and summer leagues.
Even though her family and friends agree her life was cut short, they said it was well-lived.
“We enjoyed ourselves,” Laura said. “We enjoyed life. We laughed a lot.”
The support from the community and Haley’s Bishop Dwenger family has also helped the family through this difficult time.
“Going back to school is going to be very hard knowing she’s not going to be there,” Brianna Barton, a childhood friend of Haley’s said. I’m sure everyone will help each other through it.”
The Nellum family said they will be having the funeral next Monday to give time for Haley’s friends to get back from Spring Break.