Mother Told Recurring Phrase After Daughters' Deaths

| by Simone Stover

A mother whose two daughters were recently killed in a car crash says she has repeatedly been told the same phrase by friends and family regarding her children's deaths. 

Over spring break,18-year-old Kelsey Richardson, a junior at Western Carolina University, was visiting her sister, Karli Richardson, a 20-year-old graduating senior at Grand Canyon University. On the night of April 13, the pair were planning to visit the Grand Canyon in order to watch the sun rise together the next morning, reports The Charlotte Observer. 

Their mother, Cathy Hocking -- who currently resides in Mooresville, North Carolina -- said that Karli was excited to share the experience with her younger sister, who had never been to the Grand Canyon before. 

"'I'll take you to the Grand Canyon. Let's watch the sun rise.' They thought that would just be the coolest thing," Hocking told WBTV.

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According to Hocking, her daughters' desire to spend time together was nothing out of the ordinary.

"They were a team that couldn’t be beat,” Hocking said to The Charlotte Observer. "They just loved to be together. They did so much together. Practical jokes, dates, they went to Christian camp together, they played softball together, they went to school together, and they went to parties together."

Tragically, the two women were never able to reach the Grand Canyon. The Charlotte Observer reports that -- according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety -- the two were killed just after 2 a.m. on the morning of April 14 when their car collided with a driver headed in the wrong direction on the highway.

Hocking was informed of the deaths less than six hours later by North Carolina state troopers. 

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The other driver was identified as 21-year-old Keaton Allison, a native of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who was also a student at Grand Canyon University. Investigators said that there were no signs that either driver had made an attempt to brake or avoid the crash. As of the morning of the crash, the possibility of Allison driving under the influence had not been ruled out. 

Although Hocking does seem to feel anger regarding the event, she also seems to feel some sympathy for Allison's family.

"Shouldn't we be angry?" she said to WBTV. "But ... really, you lost a son, and we feel your pain, too. We pray for you because we all lost children." 

Hocking also said that in light of the tragedy, several people have been referencing her daughters' closeness when offering their condolences.

"[P]eople have said it to me all week: 'They had to die together,'" said Hocking. "If Karli had lived, she would never have been able to live down that Kelsey was gone, and vice versa. The other could have never lived with it. So that’s what everybody says: 'They had to die together.'"

Sources: The Charlotte Observer, WBTV / Photo credit: Erik Starck/Flickr

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