Johnston County crash survivor remembers friend


Seventeen-year-old Stephanie Heaton survived the wreck that killed her 16-year-old friend, Liz Earp. Monday, Heaton was moved from the Intensive Care Unit to a regular room at WakeMed.

Her parents remain by her side as she heals from an injured spleen and a fractured finger.

Heaton said she and Earp were very close and they had been friends for years.

On June 14, the two girls were in a SUV when Earp lost control of the vehicle and slammed head on into a tree. Both girls were wearing their seatbelts, but authorities said Earp was speeding.

Earp died on the scene with her best friend, Heaton, by her side. It's a sight Heaton will never forget.

"I looked at her, just one glance. She looked so distraught," said Heaton. "I don't want any other person going through that. I need people to know that they've got to be careful."

Heaton told ABC11 that she was determined to share her story even though it was painful for her to relive the accident because she wants other teens to know what can happen if they drive too fast.

"I want people to know what can happen. I want people to see what will happen if they speed. People get hurt and people die," she said.

Heaton has a two-month old daughter. She said her baby is her reason to live.

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