Dozens attend balloon release for Sarah Root

Posted at 6:27 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-31 23:30:00-05

One year ago 21-year-old Sarah Root was killed in a car crash in South Omaha.

Eswin Mejia, 19, an undocumented immigrant, believed to be drunk and street racing, slammed into Root’s car.

SEE RELATED: Sarah Root's death anniversary, mother reflects

In honor of their daughter, the Root’s had a balloon release the evening of the year anniversary.

About a 100 people came out to the release, the crowd gathered in a sea of blue balloons.

Michelle Wilson-Root thanked everyone for their support as they let the balloons go, “It has been a horrific year, and we have had some good and some bad.” 

“It sucked what we had to go through and the community has been really gracious and really great,” said Scott Root. 

“This year has helped us get over some hurdles first, and it is never easy but it helped us focus on illegal immigration, focus on drunk driving,” added Michelle.

There was one woman in the crowd who now has a special connection to the Root family.

“Sarah unfortunately passed away, and I received her kidney,” said Stephanie Lewis.

This tribute was the first time Stephanie Lewis and Michelle Wilson-Root met.

“It just meant so much to be in touch with her and finally meet her today, and for her to come out and honor Sarah was such a blessing,” said Michelle.

Lewis said she has the gift of a new kidney out of such a tragic loss.

“That was the hardest part for me was coming to terms with that, talking with her mom she reassured me that this is what Sarah would have wanted because she was a giver,” said Lewis. 

The roots said they will never stop honoring their daughter and their fight for justice in her death will never stop.

“Part of it has kept me distracted from the fact that Sarah is gone, gave me the opportunity to be her voice for her,” said Michelle.

One man at the tribute said he is working to get this intersection renamed to Sarah Root Memorial Dr.