Friends, classmates gather to remember Mount Gilead accident victim

Family, friends and fellow classmates gathered last night for a candlelight vigil to remember Shayla Dawn McKinnon of Mount Gilead.

Shayla Dawn McKinnon (family photo via Facebook)

Shayla Dawn McKinnon (family photo via Facebook)

The 16-year-old McKinnon died Friday as the result of a two-vehicle accident on N.C. Hwy. 109, just north of the Mount Gilead town limit and south of the intersection of McKinnon Rd. Last night’s vigil was held at Garmon Field at West Montgomery High School, which will also be the site of the funeral service for McKinnon, Tue., Oct. 21, at 4 p.m.

Also injured in the accident was 33-year-old Brandon Heath Parnell, driver of the second vehicle. Parnell was airlifted to the hospital Friday, and a family member said he had surgery Saturday to insert a metal rod in his leg.

Law enforcement told media that McKinnon was traveling south on Hwy. 109 and crossed the center line. Parnell swerved, but the vehicles collided head-on. State Troopers say the drivers were alone in their respective vehicles, and neither was wearing a seat belt.

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