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Emylee’s Story

Emylee’s Story

Emylee’s life was taken because of someone else’s choice to drink and drive. Her death was preventable and serves as a constant reminder that it is never okay to drink and drive. Thank you to the family and friends of Emylee for sharing her story.

As we get started, if you wouldn’t mind just telling me a little bit about Emylee and describing her personality to us.  

“She had an amazing laugh that she just filled up the room. It was just a loud, throw your head back, kind of laugh. She’d walk in the house and say ‘What’s to eat mama?’ It’s that she was always hungry. She liked to eat,” Said Dawn Anglen, Emylee’s mother.

“Emylee was kinda shy at first and I was shy also. So at first we didn’t do much talking. Then the second time I met her I just absolutely loved her. she brought over some cookie dough to my house and she had a spoon and she’s just eating it,” said Emylee’s friend, Michaela Saffeels.

“She was a very laid-back person. Very easy to talk to. Just sweet. Just really funny, beautiful,” said Emylee’s friend, Heather Saffeels.

“She loved to be outdoors, whether it was camping, hiking, fishing,” Anglen said.

“We went camping together and we’d walk our animals together. As a group we all got puppies, my idea of course,” said Michaela.

“She always calls her dad ‘padre’ kinda a thing they always had. She was a great big sister,” recalled Anglen.

“She was always there for me she always listened. She was just one of those people you could just really tell anything to,” said Michaela.

“She was the mom of the group always pushing everybody to want better for themselves. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I just think she was put in my life because I needed her,” said Heather.

“She had a big heart. She cared a lot about everybody. She was just beautiful, beautiful outside and beautiful inside,” said Anglen.

On November 22, 2017, Emylee’s truck was struck by a vehicle traveling the wrong direction on the highway.

“He was traveling from his home in Nashville. I don’t know where he got on the road wrong, exactly, but from the 911 reports, he’d been traveling the wrong way for at least five miles before he hit her. There was a car in front of her and a car behind her and they were in the right lane. The car in front of her, from what I understand, put their hazard lights on and started slowing down because they’d seen him coming. Emylee immediately got in the left lane. She didn’t know what was going on. And then immediately when she got in the left lane was when he hit her head on and took her life and his own,” Anglen said. “Her accident was the night before Thanksgiving, November 22. She left work and she was going to Seymour to see her boyfriend. She never showed up. And so, he had gotten worried and he went out driving and he came across the accident.”

“Emylee’s boyfriend at the time called me and told me that he needed Dawn’s number. And I was like, ‘why do you need Dawn’s number, I’m not giving you Dawn’s number.’ And then he said ‘Heather I really do need it,’ [Heather responded] ‘Then you’re going to have to tell me why’. He said, ‘Emylee didn’t make it,’ What are you talking about? ‘There was an accident, Emylee didn’t make it.’ I remember sitting in the car with the phone up to my ear and I don’t know what happened, but the phone dropped and it was just instant tears, I was angry, and it was like the phone didn’t stop ringing afterward,” said Heather.

“I think it was about 1:30 a.m. My phone started ringing. It was one of her friends. Something told me to pick it up, so I did. She told me that Emylee had been in an accident and that she didn’t make it, that she died. I remembered getting mad at her because I thought it was a joke. I remember hanging up on her and about that time the doorbell rang. The doorbell rang, and it was two officers standing at my door, and they came in. I just remember saying ‘please tell me it wasn’t true, please tell me it’s not true.’ And they said, ‘Is Emylee Anglen your daughter?’ I said yes. They said ‘I’m so sorry, she died in an accident tonight. A head-on collision.’ Honestly, we just sat here on the floor, as a family, holding each other, just tried to comprehend what was going on. You’re so numb you don’t know what the next step is because nothing like this has ever happened before. The police officer did, that night, give Chad a card and told Chad he needed to call them at some point because that’s where they took her body. And so he did and they said that we could go view her,” Anglen said.

“Chad’s dad drove us to Seymour Funeral homes so that we could see our daughter. Laying on a gurney. She was so beautiful. She just looked like she was sleeping. She had a few cuts, but she just looked like she was sleeping. It’s like ‘wake up, just wake up, this is such a nightmare, just wake up,'” said Anglen.

“I didn’t find out that he was a drunk driver until 11 weeks later because there was no evidence of alcohol at the scene and toxicology reports kept getting pushed back. It was 11 weeks exactly, on a Wednesday when I was at work, when I got the phone call from the police officer who was working the scene. [He was] Calling me to tell me that [the driver] was very drunk, his blood-alcohol level was .298. That he was very sorry. It took me back to that day that she died because I was just getting to the point thinking it was an accident and then for it to come back and smack you in the face again and that it could’ve been prevented. She was just driving that road to go see her boyfriend, doing absolutely nothing wrong. She was doing absolutely nothing wrong. She just happened to be on that wrong road at the wrong time,” Anglen said.

“I miss her smile. I just miss hearing her laugh and her voice. She’s not here anymore and it’s sad, it’s frustrating, it’s unbelievable, it’s not fair. Regardless you should never drink and drive, I’ve always felt that way. But after it happened to my friend, I just want people to know that it’s really just not worth it. It’s really not. Because it could be you, you could have killed someone, or you could die, it’s just not fair,” said Michaela.

“It’s not just about you. There are other people out there who matter too. And that night that guy only thought about himself,” Heather said.

“There’s this big empty hole where Emylee was. People need to know that it doesn’t just change the drunk driver’s life but it changes other people, other people’s lives. It changed our life forever. It will never be the same. The pain never stops. It’s here all the time. Some people say it gets better. I hope it does, it hasn’t yet. It’s not any better at all,” Anglen said.

Emylee Linda Sue Anglen

July 25, 1997 – November 22, 2017

Ciera DuBan