Crash Victim Remembered with Birthday Bonfire

By R. Stickney and Mari Payton
|  Friday, Aug 13, 2010  |  Updated 7:13 AM PDT
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<a title=Natalie Nield had planned to celebrate her 18th birthday with a bonfire at the beach. Thursday, her family remembered the car accident victim with a birthday cake and candles." />

Natalie Nield had planned to celebrate her 18th birthday with a bonfire at the beach. Thursday, her family remembered the car accident victim with a birthday cake and candles.

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Natalie Nield had planned to celebrate her 18th birthday with a bonfire at the beach. On Thursday, her family lit the candles on a birthday cake to remember the car teenager killed in a traffic accident Monday night.

Emotionally crushed, Ed and Gabrielle Nield would do anything to have their daughter, Natalie home safe.

“It's a nightmare,” Gabrielle Nield said. “It’s hell. This is hell.”

Nield and fellow Cathedral Catholic High School graduate Amanda Post, 18, were riding in a Ford Expedition with Amanda's boyfriend, Derek Thomas, 19; Drew Dellis, 22; and local trainer John Adams, 39.

Witnesses saw the vehicle swerve right, then left, causing it to overturn and then plow into a van traveling the opposite direction.

Post and Nield were killed in the accident along with Wendy Rice, 35, a cheer coach who was driving the other van.

She planned to spend her 18th birthday at the beach so that is exactly what her friends and family did.

“You move forward and be okay,” said Ed Nield. “I know that’s what she would say to us and that’s what we are going to do somehow.”

Family and friends lit candles on the cake and let the wind blow them out. Then, they sat around a bonfire remembering a young woman who had the potential to achieve anything.

“She was wise beyond her years,” Ed Nield said. “A better person that i would ever hope to be."

Natalie's younger brother said he prays his sister is okay.

“I just want to say to Natalie, I am taking care of mom and dad and I know she is running with the angels now and I hope she is getting first every time,” Nicholas Nield said.

The three men injured in the crash – Derek Thomas, Drew Dellis and John Adams – are hospitalized.
 

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