Haley Nellum will never again sport the No. 21 jersey on the basketball court at Bishop Dwenger.
Her smile will never again warm the hearts of friends and family.
Her memory lives on, though, and Saturday morning, a group of students will pay tribute with a fundraising memorial walk.
To do that, the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter will use the funds raised at the 2.1-mile walk/run – a distance that reflects her jersey number – to establish a scholarship.
I don’t know if there are going to be tons of people there, or nobody, Dwenger SADD sponsor Theresa Roberts said.
Nellum was not a member of SADD, but Roberts said that hasn’t affected the motivation of the group to create the memorial walk and scholarship.
Haley was one of those students who was just; everybody loved Haley. Her smile was unbelievable, Roberts said.
She hopes Saturday goes well and can be turned into an annual event but will likely be shifted to around spring break, which is near the anniversary of Nellum’s death, which occurred on March 29.
For this year, the school’s track will be open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday for walking or running. Donations will be accepted during that time.
Water and wristbands will be provided.
Since Nellum was a sophomore, the scholarship will be awarded to a student in that grade who meets the yet-to-be-determined criteria.
She received her license only eight days before the crash, putting her still under probationary status, and was on the way home from a friend’s house just after midnight when she was killed.
The man who was driving the other car, New Haven resident Jeremy Washington, is facing several felony charges, including murder and criminal recklessness related to the crash.
Nellum, who was only 17 when she was killed, was on the road at a particularly dangerous time, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
In a 2007 study, NHTSA found that nearly 5 percent of drivers on the road late at night have blood-alcohol levels more than the 0.08 percent limit, compared with just more than 1 percent during the early night.
Sgt. Ron Galaviz, spokesman for the Indiana State Police, said in the last 18 months the state police recorded about 800 alcohol-related crashes in Allen County.
Targeted patrols and checkpoints are just some ways of trying to prevent anyone else from having the same fate as Nellum.
You can’t even quantify how many lives one drunk driving arrest could save, Galaviz said.