GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (WLNS)– It’s been almost a year since 21-year-old Tiana Seville was killed while driving her moped on Michigan State University’s campus.
Tonight, a memorial bench honoring Seville and her life was unveiled at the first home gymnastics meet at Grand Ledge High School, where Seville was once a gymnast.
“Coach Duane and I really just wanted to do something in memory of her and just kind of have a place where people could go and maybe even see her face again, her face is on the bench so it’s really just a place where people can go and remember her so she’ll always kind of be here in a way,” said Tiana’s friend and co-captain of the GLHS gymnastics team, Rachel Hogan.
The bench reads “Athlete, Singer, Leader, Daughter, Sister, and a Friend to All, We love you T.”
“She made me a better person, she made her brother and sister a better person, the four of us were just very tight and it’s just a big hole in our family,” said Tiana’s mother, Tonya Phillips.
It was a night to remember and reflect on better times.
“Whenever she’d enter a room, she’d leave the room with people smiling and just one of the best souls that I’ve ever met and that even had the privilege of being related to,” said Tiana’s brother, Anthony Seville.
“She’d always tell people that she was my best friend and I would always laugh and say ‘Tiana don’t tell people that I’m your mom,’ you know but we really were, we were best friends, very close so it’s a big piece of my life that’s missing, I’m missing a daughter, companionship, it’s just been very difficult for us,” said Phillips.
Tiana’s family says they’re honored for the support.
“It feels really good to be able to remember such a beautiful and like strong person that I look up to everyday, it’s hard to believe it was a year already, it feels like just yesterday,” said Tiana’s sister, Amina Vakili.
Grand Ledge High School gymnastic coach Duane Haring says the bench will be at every home meet for the rest of the season, along with the regional meet in March. Haring added that after the season is over, it will placed in the choir area of the school.
The driver of the salt truck that collided with Seville’s moped, plead not guilty back in November.