‘It was hard for me to say goodbye:’ Family, friends remember teen siblings killed in crash

Local News

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Connor Rodriguez and Shelby Horton died on March 25 in a crash in Sullivan County but their family and friends say their memories will live on forever.

Their friends describe both as driven individuals with Shelby being part of the National Honor Society and art club at Sullivan High School. Connor was a member of Beta Club and the track and field team.

Going back to school after spring break was hard from some friends, but being at home brought up just as many memories as being in school.

“Didn’t want to be stuck in the house because it reminded me of Shelby and Connor used to hang out here all the time in my house,” said friend Guadalupe Valencia.

The teens’ mother Barbie Horton said during the viewing at the funeral home, one young lady came up to her and said her son is the only reason she stayed in school.

Best friends of Shelby and Connor are trying to smile more, remembering how the siblings brought such a spark to everyone.

“They were the best people you could ever meet. Just amazing people. They were the life of the party you could say,” said G. Valencia. “Always lit up the room whenever they came in.”

Horton says her daughter graduated a year early from Sullivan High School so that she could enroll in Ball State to be a teacher. Andy Shepler said he and Shelby have been friends since pre-school and that life without her will be difficult.

“Me and Shelby were like the type of friends that could call at 3 a.m. and always rely on the other person to answer even if we were sleeping,” said Shepler. “I’m going to really miss hanging out with her and her advice and her smile.”

On Tuesday, services were held for Shelby and Connor in which hundred of students and teachers attended to show support.

“It was hard for me to say goodbye. I try to hold in the sadness but I couldn’t hold it in whenever I got near them,” said friend Luis Valencia. “I had to let it all out and that’s where I felt sadness. Just letting everything go.”

Horton said she was touched by how many people’s lives her children touched and the overwhelming support from the community. She added that her children will truly be missed.

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