Teen killed leaving church mourned, driver charged

Shaylin Herrin (Source: Family photo)
Shaylin Herrin (Source: Family photo)

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - There were heavy hearts in Dinwiddie Thursday, as the tight-knit community mourned the death of 15-year-old Shaylin Herrin.

19-year-old Timothy Quarles is charged with reckless driving in the wreck on Carson Road just west of Old Stage Road.

Flowers now mark the spot where the car the junior high school student was riding when in went off the road.

A heartbroken teenager clutched flowers as she walked along Carson Road. Each step more difficult than the last, she arrived where her friend, Herrin, died the night before. Moments later, Pamela Beasley's daughter finds comfort in another's arms.

"She was uh, I can't, I can't put it into words you just had to know her," said Beasley.

State police said Herrin was the front passenger in a Nissan Maxima driven by Quarles who lost control of the car Wednesday night. It hit a ditch then flipped several times before flattening cornstalks. Herrin, who wasn't wearing her seatbelt, flew from the wreckage.

A 16-year-old boy in the backseat didn't have a seatbelt on either. He survived.

Police said alcohol and speed are not factors.

Herrin, a 9th grader at Dinwiddie Junior High, was on her way home from a youth group meeting at the First Assembly of God near Petersburg.

"It's very surreal I guess," said Youth Pastor Stephen Binder, who was among the last to see Herrin alive. "Se was a really nice person. She was very kind, very respectful. I had opportunities to pray with her and it was a blessing."

The pastor said Herrin's friends have been texting and calling for words of comfort.

The same for Pastor Joshua "Sweh" Velilla with Smyrna Baptist Church. It's been a few months since he last saw her at his youth group.

"It's one of those times you question what kind of an impact you had on them," said Pastor Velilla.

There's no doubt Herrin impacted many people in her short life. Some classmates left school early as they struggle with the loss.

"If you're a young person what are you supposed to think right now this is so hard for them," said Pastor Binder.

Dinwiddie schools postponed SOL testing today so counselors could focus attention on grieving students.

A memorial fund has been set up in remembrance of Shaylin Herrin by a 911 communications supervisor who works with her grandmother for Dinwiddie Fire and EMS.

Donations are being accepted at any branch of the Bank of Southside Virginia.

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