2.26.2010

TS - Quigley family, friends remember 9-year-old Nicole

Quigley family, friends remember 9-year-old Nicole

One of the things Ken Quigley misses most about his daughter is her dancing.

”I don't even know where to begin,” he said about his favorite memories of his daughter Nicole Lynn Quigley. “We miss her so much ... . We miss watching her dance. Dancing was her thing. She danced all over the house.”

The 9-year-old ballet, jazz and tap dancer died in a car accident a year ago today when a car collision on State Route 299 sent the family's car down an embankment, through a telephone pole and into a fence. Nicole's mother, Debra Quigley, who survived with serious injuries, was driving when the car of a man allegedly street racing with another driver clipped the family's Chevrolet Tahoe and sent it off the road. Nicole's twin sister, Ashley, also survived the crash.

The two girls played soccer together on a competitive traveling soccer team coached by Dan Johnson, who organized a candlelight vigil for Nicole tonight at the crash site.

Johnson said Nicole, who was a fourth-grader at Dow's Prairie Elementary, was a great contributor to the team, and he wanted to do something that would keep her memory alive and celebrate her life. He said it was clear that dancing was Nicole's first passion -- that and all things girlie. With pink as her favorite color, Nicole was ecstatic when the team got its new bright red jackets, Johnson said.

”She wore that thing everywhere,” he recalled.

At the vigil, Johnson will be replacing the temporary cross set up at the site with a new permanent cross. There will also be a plaque with her name on it added to the site.

Along with dancing and soccer, Nicole was also a fan of sleepovers, movies, and manicures and pedicures, according to a Web site set up in remembrance of her. The site has photos of her with friends and family, each one capturing her big, bright smile.

Ken Quigley said his family has been overwhelmed with community support. At every court hearing, he said, he is joined by 30 to 40 people. And for the vigil, Cummins West, the company located next to the crash site, is allowing people to park in its lot to attend the vigil.

Quigley said his family is just trying to get through the legal process. The trial for the drivers arrested in the case, Anthony Flores, 19, and Jason Whitmill, 31, is scheduled for Nov. 23.

Prosecutors allege that Whitmill had been trying to pass Flores' car when his car crashed into Debra Quigley's car. Whitmill has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence causing injury and engaging in a speed challenge. Flores has pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter, engaging in a speed challenge and participating in a hit-and-run injury.

Ken Quigley said today will be hard for the family, but he wants to acknowledge it for Nicole's memory.

”She's always in our hearts, she's always in our minds. We're not going to forget and we're going to keep fighting until justice is done,” he said. “That would give us some closure.”

If You Go:
What: Nicole Lynn Quigley candlelight vigil
Where: Cummins West parking lot, 5150 Boyd Rd.
When: Tonight, 6 p.m.
Donna Tam can be reached at 441-0532 or e-mailed

Donna Tam/The Times-Standard
Posted: 10/06/2009 01:27:13 AM PDT