NORCROSS, Ga. — Family, friends and the community came together to remember a 31-year-old mother of three killed in DeKalb County earlier this week while working as a Lyft driver.
A father's grief could be heard and seen Friday evening.
“It’s hard on us," Joe Sawyer said at his daughter's vigil. “I’m thankful the Lord gave me 31 years with one of the best people I’ll ever know.”
A community stood together in a dark park lit with candles and love for Lauren Sawyer-Allen.
“These are her two oldest kids, Camryn and Kelsey," Joe said. "We’re going to let some balloons go to let them go to heaven because that’s where we know she’s at.”
Joe Sawyer, who's a Peachtree Corners councilman, said the whole family is devastated and stunned by the tragic loss.
“We’ve hardly had any sleep," he said. "We’re just bonding together more than ever. It’s hard on the kids. We’ll probably be sending them to therapy.”
“She was just a great, wonderful, loving, bubbly person. This is just so unfair," Lauren's mom Kim Sawyer added.
Lauren lost her life in a Lithonia neighborhood after dropping off a Lyft passenger.
What's some comfort to Lauren's parents is knowing she was on the phone with her best friend, Nandi Solomon, during her final moments alive.
“For her to hear my voice, she knew she was not alone, and the last thing she said to me was, ‘I’m okay,’” Solomon said.
Hundreds of people came out to Lillian Webb Park to remember Lauren. Many of them wore purple, Lauren’s favorite color. Her family said we all can learn a lot from how she lived her life.”
“She was a vibrant young lady, who did what she needed to do for her kids," Joe said. "That’s why she was out working. She was just miss independent, miss social butterfly.”
The family will say their final and unexpected goodbyes next Tuesday. Lauren had a young sister and was known as the protector of the family.
“Hug your kids. Hug your family because you never know," Joe said. "I was with her two hours before this happened, and the last thing she said to me was, ‘I love you daddy.'”
Comfort and memories filled the park as people remembered a vibrant life never to be forgotten.