Paragould family mourns loss of teen killed in hit-and-run

Roy Bruner, Makenna Haynes' father (Source: KAIT)
Roy Bruner, Makenna Haynes' father (Source: KAIT)
(Source: David Haynes)
(Source: David Haynes)
(Source: David Haynes)
(Source: David Haynes)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - A Paragould teen's father and her husband are mourning after she was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver Saturday.

"It's been so hard to lose Makenna so quickly and I wasn't prepared for this so soon," 17-year-old Makenna Haynes' father, Ray Bruner, said. "I didn't even get to say bye to her."

Arkansas State Police reported the crash happened on Interstate 55 in Crittenden County late Saturday night.

Haynes' husband, David Haynes, said his wife was crossing a lane of traffic after trying to seek help from a nearby gas station for a flat tire coming home from Memphis.

A person driving a Dodge vehicle allegedly struck the teen and fled, which has left the family wanting answers.

"She was a sweet, smart, loving and beautiful girl, I miss her every single day," her husband, David Haynes, said.

The two men spent their Tuesday flipping through photographs, holding on to the only thing that's left.

"I'm just trying to make it through," Bruner said.

"If you realized that you hit that person, why would you not stay and check on them," Haynes said. "You just never know, the first person who was there, that could have changed everything."

Instead of getting angry at the person who is responsible, they are choosing to forgive and rely on their faith to push through the coming days.

"Maybe he ran because he was afraid," Bruner said. "God still leads me to say, okay, I forgave those who killed me before I even died, so you forgive him."

This Thanksgiving week, the father-in-law and son-in-law lock arms for a hug and understandably remain heartbroken.

"I'll never forget that day," her father said.

But, they have God as their peace and know Haynes is in heaven as they flip through old photo albums stacked near a sofa in Bruner's home.

A family friend set up a GoFundMe account. If you would like to donate, funds will help the grieving family pay for funeral and burial expenses.

"She was amazing, she was a blessing to me," Haynes said.

"Only God knows why and I trust him," Bruner said.

Haynes' visitation is scheduled for Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Christian Life Center in Brookland. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. at the same place on Saturday.

Region 8 News reached out to ASP for an update on the hit-and-run investigation, we did not hear back from the agency on the investigation's status.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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