Coping With Christmas After Losing A Daughter

Wednesday, December 24th 2008, 6:49 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa family is struggling to get through Christmas.  Stefanie Andrews, 18, was killed by a suspected drunk driver 11 weeks ago.

Her family is trying to face the holidays, despite their grief and their anger because the man who killed her, is home with his family, while she is not.

Stefanie Andrews was one credit away from graduating Booker T. Washington High School; she loved computers, planned to be a nurse and had life by the tail.

Until she was walking home from a party in October about three in the morning, when police say a driver came speeding over a hill and crashed into her. When he took her life, all those dreams went with her.

"I sit around and try to convince myself the Lord gave me 18 years, I got to see her grow up as a young adult, but, I'd rather had 40 more, but gotta be thankful for what I had," said Paulette Shultz, Stefanie's mother.

Stefanie's mom, brother and sister and best friend are trying to make the most of this year's Christmas, although they're basically, just trying to get through. They put up the tree, but say everything about this time of year, reminds them, one of them is missing.

"Just hoping next year will be better. This year, just lost," Paulette Shultz.

They say it's even more difficult knowing the man who killed Stefanie is home with his families, recovering from his injuries.

Police say Marlon Tanner was drinking that night, yet he's not behind bars, hasn't been charged and records show he was on probation for a drug conviction when Stefanie was killed.

"He does need to be charged and held accountable because he needs to realize a decision he made hurt somebody, hurt a family, hurt everybody," said Paulette Shultz.

The DA says blood work on Tanner just came back and showed his blood alcohol level was .04. They say the case needed some additional investigation before they go to court.

Paulette says Booker T. High School will still issue Stefanie a cap and gown and diploma and her mother will be allowed to collect it on Stefanie's behalf, this spring when the rest of Stefanie's class graduates.