Pierce Corcoran’s family speaks at border security event in Washington, D.C. alongside Rep. Burchett

Local News

A Knoxville family touched by tragedy was at our nation’s capitol on Tuesday, calling for action on border security.

The Corcoran family’s son, 22-year-old Pierce Corcoran, was killed late last month in a head-on collision on the Chapman Highway. Investigators say the driver swerved around another car, leading to a chain-reaction wreck. That suspect driver who now stands accused of criminally negligent homicide, Franco Francisco-Eduardo, was an undocumented immigrant, prosecutors say. 

Tuesday, the Corcoran family was joined by members of Congress including our own Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tennessee), whose office tweeted out about the news conference, as well as groups Women For Trump and Angel Families. 

Women For Trump described the event as a coalition press conference standing with President Trump in his efforts to build the wall, secure the border and make America safe. 

The Corcorans, joined by Angel Families, the group comprised of families of loved ones killed by undocumented immigrants, shared their – and Pierce’s – story on Capitol Hill. 

“In some ways, it does feel like its making an immediate difference, in other ways, it does take a few hours to set in. Like wow, we talked to these people that we usually see on TV,” said Avery Pressley. 

Corcoran’s sister Avery Pressley shared memories of Pierce and said her family and the others were there to speak up on border security.

“‘My actions still matter,’ these are the words I found in a journal on the dash of my baby brother’s crumpled, destroyed car… the pages riddled with shards of glass,” Avery said. “‘My actions still matter.’ To the members of Congress… and our President… I want to say… your actions still matter. This is not an issue of race, this is an issue of right and wrong.” 

The Corcorans say they are planning to meet with President Trump and Senator Marsha Blackburn Wednesday to talk about Pierce and immigration, specifically the border wall. 

“It would send a message to the American people that our government is listening to our concerns. It would send a message to people coming over here, that this country means business and that there’s a process,” said D.J. Corcoran, Pierce’s father. 

The family says they hope Pierce’s legacy could become changes in immigration. 

“I think that both parties kind of want the same thing, so it’s honing in and compromising on both sides. I hope we get to meet with him [Wednesday],” said Pressley. 

Francisco-Eduardo appeared in a Knox County court last week for his charges. A judge revoked his bond, meaning he will stay in Knox County to face trial rather than be handed back over to Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

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