Lives cut short: Families speak out about teens killed in Wheatfield car accident

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two young lives are tragically cut short after a weekend accident in Wheatfield. Melanie Aronow and Quincy Harper were both just 18-years-old when they were struck and killed by a car.

It happened just after midnight on Saturday. Police say the group was walking along Shawnee road near a big party. Family tells us more about Harper, the teenager who loved to rap, dance and had this “million dollar smile.”

Just days after Harper was hit and killed in this accident, family members say they already notice he’s gone. “I feel so weird walking by his room and not seeing him there,” said Ronnie Koonce, his younger brother.

Family members says they already feel his absence. Forrest Harper, Quincy’s older brother said, “Why him? I didn’t  know what to do, I didn’t want to believe it was real.”

His best friend Melanie Aronow was killed in this accident too. Family says they wanted to celebrate before she headed to SUNY Fredonia on Sunday. Koonce said, “She wanted to have fun before college, so they found that party and that’s when it happened.  Mel was a great person too. she looked out for everyone. If you could find a girl version of Quincy, it would be Mel.”

Family says like Aronow, Harper would do anything for his friends and family. “He put everyone before himself. He would make sure you were okay before he was. You could ask him for anything and he would make sure he got it for you.”

Forrest Harper said, “Ever since he was small he would always love to dance, and he always had that smile on him.”  It was that million dollar smile that family says lit up the room. His Father, Forrest Harper Senior said, “He was really loved by so many people.”

One of ten brothers and sisters, he cared for his father who is going through health issues. Harper said, “He just was a good kid, and he took care of me. He helped me out a lot.”

It’s hard for this tight knit family to see all the memories flooding in on social media. But. Koonce said, “At the same time, it makes me happy knowing that a lot of people loved him and cared about him.”

Monday morning, Melanie Aronow was supposed to be in her first class at SUNY Fredonia. Her family says she couldn’t wait to start this next chapter of her life after graduating from Lockport high school.

Diane Misch got a call early Saturday that no mom ever wants to hear: Her daughter was hurt- in a crash. She said, “We went to the scene, and there were the shoes and her Fredonia ID was there.”

It was Aronow’s last hurrah before she headed to college. Her dad, Glen said, “She was just so looking forward to the next chapter.”

 

Her family doesn’t know what happened that night, whether the group was walking to the party or back to Aronow’s car when they were hit and killed. Family said Aronow struggled with health issues growing up, but they call her a fighter.

They say she was very much an introvert. But her her Dad, said something recently changed. He said, “I cant think of another word besides “blossomed” in the past year. She made us all very proud.”

The baby of the family, friends say she was the life of the party, and always willing to stick up for friends. Aronow said, “She loved life, she loved her friends and even though sometimes she didn’t show it, she loved her family.”

She won the “Unsung Hero” award this past year at Lockport High School, given to “quality students” who stand out. Aronow said, “She didn’t care black, white, straight, gay, rich, poor, it didn’t matter. She cared about everybody and she impacted everybody’s life in a positive manner.”

There is a public wake for Melanie and Quincy this Wednesday. Friends may call on Wednesday 2-4 & 7-9 PM at LANGE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 186 East Ave., Lockport. Funeral services will be private. For Melanie’s wake, family is asking everyone to wear bright colors to celebrate her life.

There is a public wake for Quincy Harper. Relatives and friends may call on Wednesday, August 24, 21016, from 2-4 PM & 7-9 PM at the Bogan & Tuttle Funeral Home, 226 Pearl St. Medina, NY 14103. Calling on Thursday will be from NOON- 1 PM at the First Baptist Church of Medina, 203 W. Center ST. Medina, NY 14103, where a Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 PM with the Rev. Nathaniel Little officiating and burial will be in the Boxwood Cemetery, Medina.

A vigil will be held Wednesday night at 10PM for both Quincy and Melanie at Outwater Park in Lockport by the baseball field.

There are also “Go-Fund” pages to help with funeral costs for both teenagers. Find Melanie Aronow’s here. Find Quincy Harper’s here. 

The 20-year-old driver of the car involved in this accident is not facing any charges at this time. Police are continuing their investigation.

 

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