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Parents remember daughter killed in Wichita car crash

Published On: Aug 03 2014 09:36:31 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 03 2014 10:36:07 PM CDT

A McPherson couple's daughter was one of three people killed in a car crash in Wichita last weekend. Now they are talking about Emily Phillip's life for the first time since her death.

"It's like having a piece of your soul taken away," said Kory Phillps, Emily's mother.

The accident near Tracy and Maple July 27th killed Phillips, Jake Hallacy and Zack Taylor. Two others were also injured, including Phillip's sister-in-law.

The family gathered in McPherson Sunday night for a candle light vigil, in the crowd was Emily's son.

Bandit is rambunctious 21-month old, a quality shared by his mother.

"When we look at him we see her," Kory Phillips said. "We are grateful for that, we are grateful that we can see him everyday."

Kory and Chad Phillips plan to raise Bandit now that Emily is gone.

"Emmy was larger than life, she was funny and loud and drove a big truck," Kory Phillips remembered.

Phillips was in a car that was broad-sided by a Ford Expedition. That driver ran a red light, and then he ran from the scene. Officers later arrested Juan Gandara-Rodela at his home.

He now faces three counts of 2nd degree murder and other charges.

"We are not ready to hear about what happened," Phillips said.

While they cope with their loss, the Phillips are comforted by the support they've gotten from Emily's friends.

They know their grandson will be constantly reminded of who his mom was and the impact she had on others.

"It is him that has to pay the biggest price," Kory Phillips said. "We had our time, and we wish it was more, and he is not going to have that and that is the most devastating part of all."

The Phillips family will meet with the Sedgwick County District Attorney Monday to find out more about the case.

Gandara-Rodela is scheduled to make his next appearance in court August 14th.

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