Teen Memoriam Stories

BaiLee DiBernardo

He should have seen them but rather than keeping his eyes on the road, he leaned over to retrieve a drink he had dropped. Bailee and her friend were hit.

Bailee was a bright, beautiful girl with dreams and hopes for her future. She was born on Dec. 1, 1998 in Layton, Utah, and from that moment she was a blessing to her family. She was raised by her mother, Kristina. Bailee wasn’t just her daughter, but her best friend. Kristina remembers, with a deep welling of emotion, telling her daughter, “You are my heart.”

For those who were blessed to know Bailee, she brought laughter, love, and happiness into their lives. Bailee was a vivacious, feisty princess with blonde, curly hair, and big blue eyes. Her spunky personality reflected her outlook on life. She was determined, yet kind. Her infectious smile could make a difference in your day. Bailee loved life.

As a little girl, Bailee loved to play dress up and spend time with her cousins. When she was 11, Kristina married. Bailee was the maid of honor. Their new family was perfect. A few years later, Bailee finally became a big sister and she adored her new little sister. An adventurous family, they enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, skiing, hunting, and whitewater rafting. She loved learning new makeup tricks on YouTube and loved having her hair and nails done. She was a girly girl, but with a twist of tomboy. She could get dirty in a mud run, score a home run in baseball, and be dazzling in a dress at her high school prom.

Bailee was a true friend. She loved people, and especially her peers. With an inner strength, she took on a heavy responsibility for a young lady. A peer tutor and a listening ear for those in trouble. Bailee had a calling as a voice for suicide prevention. She believed in trying to help teens in need.

On the morning of January 11, 2016, after Bailee had been dropped off at school, she and a friend decided to get Frappuccino’s. At the crosswalk, the cars on one side stopped for them. They thought they had time to cross. They must have thought the truck coming from the other direction would stop. He should have seen them but rather than keeping his eyeson the road, he leaned over to retrieve a drink he had dropped. Bailee and her friend were hit. Her friend was thrown to the side of the road. Bailee lay in the middle of the road. Another driver, who also wasn’t paying attention to the road, ran over Bailee. She was wedged beneath the car and dragged more than 50 yards down the road.

Bailee lost her life that morning and her family lost their feisty princess. Her little sister lost the chance to know this amazing young lady. And her mother lost her best friend, her daughter, her heart. She now struggles to make sense of what their life has become. She suffers from PTSD. But she knows that she will always be Bailee’s mom and she lives to make Bailee proud by being a voice to bring awareness to the dangers of distracted driving.

The events that happened that morning should never be forgotten. Laws on distracted driving need to be changed. As a community, we need to demand those changes.


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