CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Montgomery County first responder is hoping to spread some Christmas cheer after a mother of four was killed earlier this year at the hands of an impaired driver.
This year, the holiday is dedicated to memories for the Lazu family.
“The first thing that I found was that stocking there, it was her first stocking,” said Ann Lazu, pointing a Christmas stocking hanging up. “It was when I saw that, that I broke down. It reminded me that she’s really not going to be here.”
Ann’s daughter, 28-year-old Michelle “Shade” Lazu was killed on March 15, near Avondale Drive. Police say Dylan Grady was behind the wheel of the vehicle responsible for the five-car crash.
Now, every gift, ornament, decoration, is a welcomed reminder of the good times, and the painful knowledge that someone will be missing from the celebration.
“This was something we used to do together, decorating the tree, we would all get together. It’s hard you know, it’s hard because I expect her to come through the door,” said Ann, holding back tears.
March will now forever be a month where her life changed. Grundy faced vehicular homicide charges, in addition to reckless driving, reckless endangerment, no proof of insurance, and an open container violation.
“We responded to the scene and we saw the car seat in the wreckage and from that moment on I was thinking, this is the mother of a small child,” remembered Vincent Lewis, one of the first responders on the scene.
He explained at first, worry washed over him after seeing the car seat, and immediately went looking for a child who may have been in the car. Once he realized the mother of four was alone, heartbreak set in.
“You could end up ruining someone’s Christmas forever. You could end up spreading a tragedy to a family that they can never recover from, this is a life that can’t be reclaimed,” said Lewis, warning against the dangers of driving while under the influence.
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Lewis was so touched by the Lazu family he felt something more should be done for them. So, he created a GoFundMe page for the family in hopes of spreading Christmas cheer.
Lewis says now he is hoping to do something like this every year, in an effort to make a difference in the lives of families who are in need of extra help, due to a death.
Grady is set to appear in court in February of 2022.