Family and friends gathered Saturday to remember the woman hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver in Old Town last weekend.
Rebecca Bray's loved ones gathered at the Glen Fair Evangelical Church in northeast Portland. Her life ended suddenly on the streets of Old Town when she and her friend Brandi Butner, 21, were waiting for a ride home from Butner's birthday celebration. A suspected drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into them on the sidewalk, killing Bray and injuring Butner, police said.
"Things like this shouldn't happen," said Shari Bray, Rebecca Bray's mother. "Nobody should have a child taken away at the age of 20."
Yet even during this time of grief, Shari Bray made a remarkable request of all who cared about her daughter: try to forgive the man responsible.
"I have to go through (the forgiveness process) moment by moment, day by day, but it's something that we all need to heal, to be able to move on and to actually celebrate Becky's life," Shari Bray said.
Shari Bray also said she hoped what happened to her daughter will prompt other drivers to make better choices.
"Don't drink and drive, be responsible," Shari Bray said.
Despite the way Rebecca Bray's life ended, a choice she made beforehand is giving her loved ones some comfort - she was an organ donor.
"Now actually someone is seeing the world through Becky's eyes," said Shari Bray. "(I'm) very proud of her. Even when she's not here, she's still blessing others."
Butner is still recovering from her injuries in the hospital, but was able to watch the service via Skype and prepared a statement about her friend that was read at the church.
The driver, Brent Warstler, faces charges including manslaughter and DUII. He is scheduled to be back in court at the end of January for a preliminary hearing.
A memorial fund has been set up in Rebecca's name. You can donate at any U.S. Bank branch.
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