A pair of sisters from Mooresville were killed by a wrong-way driver early Friday morning as they drove together up an Arizona interstate to watch the sun rise over the Grand Canyon, according to multiple news reports.
Karli Richardson, 20, and Kelsey Richardson, 18, were on I-17 north of Phoenix just after 2 a.m. Friday, when a vehicle traveling southbound in the northbound lanes collided with theirs, according to reports. All three were declared dead at the scene.
ABC-15 in Phoenix reported that Karli Richardson was planning to graduate from Grand Canyon University, and that Kelsey Richardson was in town visiting.
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“They wanted to do things first, together, as sisters,” the victims’ mother, Cathy Hocking, told the station. “They wanted to drive to the Grand Canyon and be there when the sun came up.”
The Arizona Department of Public Safety told the Phoenix New Times that they are considering the possibility that the driver of the other vehicle – a 22-year-old man who also attended Grand Canyon University in Phoenix – could have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. His name has not been released.
Just last week, Karli Richardson had posted on her Facebook page a series of graduation photos taken at Phoenix’s Papago Park, including several of her wearing a gown and happily tossing her cap into the air. The school’s spring commencement is scheduled for the end of the month.
“I feel for the other parents who have also lost a child,” their mother told ABC-15. “They’re all gone. They never got to start their lives really.”