Slow down, stay sober: Family hopes Halloween tragedy will help save others

Photo provided to KPTV.

VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) – As Halloween approaches, the holiday is a painful reminder for one family that their little girl is gone.

Five years after 7-year-old Cadence Boyer was hit and killed while trick-or-treating in Vancouver, a permanent memorial now sits where it all happened off Northeast 112th Avenue.

For her grandmother Cathy Boyer, she has reminders everywhere, with pictures of Cadence throughout the halls of her home.

"She was the light of the party, very smart, very happy," Boyer said.

Boyer says Cadence was hit by a car while out trick-or-treating with her mom and a group on Halloween in 2014.

She was rushed to the hospital but didn't survive her injuries.

Boyer says it never gets easier.

"Even though it's been five years, it's hard getting closer, you get worse," Boyer said.

She says Cadence was wearing a reflective light up vest when that driver, Duane Abbott, jumped a curb and hit the group of trick or treaters.

He was high and eventually pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and assault.

Abbott was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison.

"You know, people ask have I forgave, I can't forgive," Boyer said.

Boyer wants to remind everyone out on Halloween to pay attention and understand that it might be a holiday to dress up and have some fun, but there are real dangers.

"You have to make sure that there's no cars coming down the street because you don't know actually how fast they're coming," Boyer said. "And people should know that there's kids out there and, you know, they got to slow down."

These safety tips won't bring back her granddaughter, but she's hoping they will prevent others from feeling the pain her family has felt ever since they lost Cadence.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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