Alix Rice’s family unveils location of memorial skatepark

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – The collision that took the life of Alix Rice happened three years ago, this month.

“It still breaks your heart. It really does, but knowing her, she’s in a great place” said Maryellen Kern, Alix’s family friend.

On Sunday, loved ones picked up the torch once again and finished the walk Alix never got to finish.

“On a rainy day, we’re all soaked from walking in the rain. It’s wonderful to have the turnout that we did” said Tammy Schueler, Alix’s mom.

Alix left work at Bocce’s Pizzeria on Dodge Road in Williamsville on July 8, 2011. She was on her way to her father’s house. Alix never made it.

Dr. James Corasanti fatally struck the 18-year-old as she rode her longboard on Heim Road in Amherst. A jury acquitted Dr. Corasanti of felony charges related to Alix’s death, but he was convicted of a misdemeanor DWI.

Her family explained how they miss her so much. “Her sweet smile, her touch and her laughter…she was just a beacon of light and I miss it desperately” said Schueler.

“I miss Alix. I loved her and a beautiful person left this world way too soon” said Philip Colson, Alix’s uncle.

The family hopes to keep her memory alive by creating a skatepark. After the walk, its location was unveiled. It will be constructed on a plot of land at the Northtown Center in Williamsville.

“We want it to be a safe haven for skaters first and foremost so they can feel comfortable in their element. And I think by the way Alix passed, which was at the hands of a drunk driver, we want it to serve as a reminder of the perils of drunk driving” said Brian Duff, the Vice President of the Alix Rice Peace Park Foundation.

The Foundation has raised about $220,000 so far. They still need to raise an additional $130,000 to complete the project.

Alix’s mother hopes they will break ground next spring. It’s something she believes Alix would be thrilled to see if she were here. “She knows the community needed it. When we traveled, we’d go to Venice, California; we always went to the skatepark. When we went to Ithaca, we went to the skatepark. And she knew this community needed a skatepark. So it’s fitting, absolutely fitting” said Schueler.

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