MILTON, NY - Family and friends are coming together to mourn the loss of a 14- year-old girl who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in Milton Saturday evening.
Family members said Kari Liedel was an aspiring singer and a rising sophomore at Ballston Spa High School. "She was beautiful and talented," Sarah Liedel, Kari's mother said.
Sheriff deputies said 21-year-old Gavin J. Staulters, of Milton, was traveling southbound on West Milton Road around 8:33 p.m. when he hit 14-year-old Kari Liedel with a 2003 Ford Escape.
Staulters has been a part-time member of the Air National Guard since 2009 and Ballston Spa High School graduate.
Neighbors said Staulters was coming from a graduation party, swerving all over the road when he struck Liedel. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Kari's grandmother Debbie Puglisi says, "We will never see her grow up, we will never see her graduate from high school, we will never see her get married, have children, because that was taken away from us because somebody had to have alcohol and get behind a wheel."
The family said Kari had gone swimming with two friends and was walking to her uncle's house when she was hit.
Staulters, who was uninjured in the accident, was charged with driving while intoxicated. He has been released from the Saratoga County Jail after posting bail. Town Court officials confirm Staulters will appear in court on Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.
The investigation into the collision is ongoing at this time with additional charges pending.
Calling hours for Kari will be at the Armer Funeral Home in Ballston Spa on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a service beginning at 7 p.m.