Family, friends remember Katelyn Cunliffe, Tazewell teen killed in pedestrian fatality


TAZEWELL, Tenn. (WATE) – Friday night, a local school remembered the life of a student who was suddenly killed.

Katelyn Cunliffe’s life was cut short at the age of 16. The Claiborne County High School student stepped into a lane of traffic on North Broad Street in Tazewell, when she was hit by a van.

RELATED: 16-year-old Claiborne County High School student killed in pedestrian fatality

The Highway Patrol said she was thrown 150 feet.

As of right now, there are no charges filed against the van’s driver. The high school’s Friday homecoming was also delayed as people at the Claiborne High football game instead remembered the teen.

Attendees wore bandannas, purple and Cunliffe’s soccer number.

“It means so much that she touched so many lives and it just makes me so proud that I can say I had a daughter that touched so many people,” said her dad, Mark Cunliffe.

Family and friends remembered what made Katelyn so special. The teen played soccer for the high school. Those closest to her say it was her passion.

“She always knew how to make us laugh. Didn’t matter, she’d embarrass herself in front of this whole county if she had to to make one of us laugh,” said her friend, Izabella Russell.

Cunliffe’s memory was a focal point of halftime, with a moment of silence held and a balloon release.

“I was ready to have her as my wife, and I woke up this morning and it just didn’t feel right in life,” said her boyfriend Kenneth Burns.

Her loved ones are still trying to come to terms with the loss as they come together to pay tribute to her life.

“I know she’s looking down on me and her brother and the rest of our family, and I know she’s going to protect us and watch out for us,” said her dad.


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