Good Samaritan replaces vandalized memorial for teens killed in Sevier County crash

KODAK (WATE) – A mother is still grieving after her son and daughter were killed in a car crash two years ago. A memorial was set up in Kodak in honor of Sarah and Tyler Rolen, but someone vandalized the tribute several weeks ago.

Weeks later, a stranger saw the memorial had been vandalized and replaced it.

Sarah Rolen

Tyler Rolen, his sister Sarah Rolen, and Joshua Lewis-Jones were all killed in February 2015 when their car left the roadway, went down an embankment and hit a tree. Michael Clemons was injured.

Drivers quickly pass by on this winding road in Kodak, but Tonya Rolen pauses there frequently. The spot marks where she lost her only two children in a car crash two years ago. Pieces from the car are still there but a signpost with Sarah and Tyler’s names is new. A stranger put it up after the original memorial was torn down.

Previous story: Kodak community mourns teens killed in crash

Someone vandalized the tree and mementos placed there. They had been on the site since the accident.

Rolen was heartbroken to find the vandalism, but her spirits are now lifted and she’d like to find the person responsible.

Tyler Rolen

“I just want to hug that persons neck and let them know how much this truly means to me,” said Rolen.

She says she wants to thank whoever it is for keeping her children’s memory alive.

Rolen also plans to host a distracted driving event at her son’s high school, Gatlinburg-Pittman High School, in May for the senior class, which Tyler would have been in this year.

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