Raindrops dissolve Carly Ferro's makeshift memorial outside Rutland Discount Food. But the dreary weather won't wash away her co-workers' fond memories.
"Words can't describe her," said Justine Taylor, Carly's boss. "She was the way every young girl should be. Just a sweet, sweet girl."
The 17-year-old Rutland High School senior was killed leaving work Wednesday night. Police say a multicar pileup triggered by an impaired driver pinned her between her father's car and the building.
"The last thing she said to me was, 'Hey Chelsea, I'll see you Friday,'" said Chelsea Felion, a co-worker. And here Friday is and I find myself watching the clock-- 3:30 is coming and she's not going to be walking through the front door today."
Instead, her co-workers are left wearing purple ribbons-- a tribute to the avid golfer with an infectious laugh. Her dreams of a pro-tour cut short. Police say Alex Spanos, 23, lost control of his speeding Toyota Camry, crossed the center line and plowed into Carly's dad's car. He was waiting to pick up his daughter. But before she reached the passenger seat the chain-reaction crash killed her, severely injured him and left the other victims with bruises and broken bones.
"So many lives were just torn apart in seconds," Taylor said.
The passengers in Spanos' car told police he had been huffing chemicals all day. He took his last hit Park Avenue moments before the crash. In the chaos that followed, witnesses spotted Spanos walking away from the scene and his passenger attempting to stash beer and empty Dust Off inhalant cans in the woods.
"This is the matter of State verses Alex Spanos," Vt. Superior Court Judge Theresa DiMaura announced.
Friday, a shackled Spanos hung his head as he walked into court. He denied manslaughter and gross negligence charges.
"Mr. Spanos would enter pleas of not guilty, your honor," said
Mary Kay Lanthier, Spanos' lawyer.
The judge held him on $200,000 bail and set dozens of conditions should he be released.
Back at the store they're still digesting what happened, knowing full well the healing process will be hard.
"We're sad," Taylor said. "I don't think anger has set in."
Carly's father, Ronald Ferro, was hospitalized with a severe head injury following the crash. Friday night he was listed in good condition.
Alex Spanos has been in trouble before. In 2008, he was arrested for underage drinking and DUI. Six months ago he was stopped in New York for a traffic violation and subsequently arrested for having a small amount of cocaine on him and illegally carrying a gun. Those charges are still pending.
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