Roadside memorial replaced in Huntersville after vanishing this summer

- More than two decades later, the Huntersville community is helping the families of two girls killed in a crash. 

Although it has been 23 years, the community hasn't forgotten what happened along Kerns Road.

"Our girls are here with us today," said the mother of Laura Barnette.

A plaque now hangs from the tree where Laura and her friend Mandi Meador were killed.

"This is the area I work. This site has always been here," said Officer Rachel Thornton.

But earlier this summer the memorial vanished. Officer Thornton, along with many from the Huntersville community, noticed the change. Police later found out a mentally ill man took the memorial down.

"I wanted to do something to make it right," said Officer Thornton.

So Officer Thornton reached out to a local designer.

"Anytime I can see someone else happy from something I have contributed, I am happy," said Todd Crane from Carne's Custom Interiors.

Crane designed a park bench with wings on the back to remember the angels lost along the stretch of Kerns Road. The site is once again bringing back a sense of peace for the two families.

"It was just a nice place to remember their memories of them together, and them with their friends, and at school, and just all the great happy times," said the mother of Mandi Meador.

A scholarship program has been setup to remember the girls and other young people lost in Huntersville. To find out more, click here.

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