Grieving Randolph County family turns pain into action
RANDLEMAN, N.C. — Steven Bunting and Christina Barefoot have been to a side-of-the-road memorial every day since their daughter Aurora was killed there February 28th.
Barefoot says it doesn’t depress her to come to the site; it comforts her.
“Other than a box of ashes, this is all I have left. I’ve got a burnt truck, and I’ve got this,” she pointed at the array of pink flowers and a white cross. “She was my only little girl.”
Barefoot’s two sons, Cameron, 5, and Wyatt, 3, miss their sister but are too young to understand the full impact of the family’s loss, she said.
21-year-old Victoria Handy was charged with failure to yield to right of way in the accident.
Troopers say Handy collided with the truck carrying Barefoot and her three kids at the intersection of Bethany Church Road and Bull Run Creek Road in Randleman.
After Handy had already exited her vehicle, investigators said the car dislodged itself backwards, hitting and killing 4-year-old Aurora on the side of the road.
“Not being aware, not paying attention? It cost our daughter’s life, and no matter what it can’t be replaced,” added Bunting.
Now Aurora’s family is on a mission in her honor. They are trying to raise awareness reminding drivers to slow and completely stop at stop signs and red lights.
“There’s been many times we’ve been here at the memorial and watched people run the very same stop sign that cost our daughter’s life,” Bunting said.
FOX8′s crew saw drivers doing the same thing while they were filming at the intersection Tuesday. Many drivers slowed down, but several rolled straight through the intersection of Bethany Church Road and Bull Run Creek Road.
“Take the time. Stop. Slow down. Make sure no one’s coming,” pleaded Barefoot.
They both admit no one is a perfect driver.
Bunting says his driving habits have completely changed since the accident. Barefoot says she refuses to drive if she doesn’t have to, haunted by the accident that killed her daughter.
“All I want is to know that our daughter’s memory and her smile will be remembered forever. People need to slow down. People need to pay attention,” Bunting added. “No one else should have to go through this. Every life is precious.”
The NC Department of Transportation does not have any reports of crashes in the last five years at the intersection where Aurora was killed.
Neighbors tell FOX8 that wrecks and fender-benders are frequent even if there aren’t police reports filed every time.
Bunting and Barefoot are planning a memorial ride in honor of Aurora to continue their campaign for safe driving.
The ride is scheduled for Saturday, August 17th. Aurora would have turned five years old that week.
Any drivers or motorcyclists interested in participating in the memorial ride can contact Steven Bunting at firstname.lastname@example.org.