National Crime Victim’s Rights Week

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The state of Tennessee is bringing awareness to those who have fallen victim to crimes.

The Board of Parole, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Correction and TRICOR sponsored tree planting events around the state in honor of National Crime Victim’s Rights Week.

The families and friends of victims of crime in the Tennessee Valley, gathered at the Tennessee Riverpark to honor their loved ones.

A tree was planted to honor each person who died.

“These trees send a constant message to the public that the victims of crimes and their families are important”, said Chip Chapman.

This year’s theme is strength, resilience, and justice.

Some of those in the crowd shed tears as bell chimed after each victim’s name was read.

One of those people in the crowd was Susan Pagan.

Pagan lost her 13-year-old daughter, Lexi, in a drunk driving accident.

“Every day is a struggle. Within a split second, she lost her life because she trusted someone who had driven her several times before. They went around a curve and hit the light pole and snapped the pole, flipped the car, and Lexi was the only one who didn’t make it” said Pagan.

Although she misses her daughter Pagan said it helps knowing there other people dealing with similar pain.

“It makes me feel like I’m not as alone as I was. I’m glad to know that there really are other people that feel as bad as I do about losing a child.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News

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