Mother of 16-year-old car crash victim says family has long road to recovery

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 18:18:03-04

An Omaha mother is heartbroken after a weekend crash killed her 16-year-old daughter.

Friday night Janis Brown was riding near 90th and Sorensen Pkwy with her sister and little brother when they were rear-ended by a suspected drunk driver.

Brown’s siblings were taken to the hospital, and Brown did not make it.

Brown’s mother, Carlotta Vaughan, said the family has a long road to recovery.

“She was always a little song bird, and she was going to be some type of entertainer or signer,” said Vaughan.

She said her daughter was always singing, and having videos of her daughter signing is helping in her time of loss.

“It gives you some comfort just to know I will always be able to hear her voice,” she said.

Vaughan said her other children who were in the car are traumatized.

“My four-year-old is still asking me to call her.”

On Friday night Vaughan came face-to-face with the driver of the other car, 28-year-old Tyvinn Smith, who Douglas County Sheriff Deputies said was drunk.

“I actually spoke with the man that night and he offered me no compassion, he never said he was sorry, and that was hard,” she said.

Even with no apology, Vaughan said she knows her daughter is in a good place, “we hang on to our faith that we know Janis is with God, she is with the Lord.”

Brown's best friend, Ciera Boatwright, said she will now live her life just like Brown.

“I will live every day like my last, because that is what she did, and she didn't know when her last day would be, but she lived like that, and there were no regrets with her.”

Brown’s sister was released from the hospital on Sunday, and her little brother is still at Nebraska Medicine.

Tuesday night there will be a candle light vigil at Northwest High School at 7pm.

The family has a donation fun set up at Metro Credit Union under Janis Brown’s name.