Roanoke County teen to be remembered

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ7) A Roanoke County Teen who died in a car accident late last year will be remembered.

Sarabeth Hammond was scheduled to be on a panel at Hollins University as part of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. Instead, two scholarships will be given out in her honor.

She went missing around the holidays last year. It was three days before investigators found a body matching her description on Bent Mountain. They believe she was driving at a sharp curve when her car hit a wall and she was ejected.

All this happened about a month before the writer's conference. Dan Smith is the director that gathering. He says Sarabeth was going to be the youngest teacher in the conference's ten year history. He hopes the scholarships in her honor keep her memory alive.

Dan Smith, Roanoke Regional Writers Conference Director said, “That kid passed through here like a light. She touched so many people and every day there is something in my life and I know many many others, that she influences.”

Since her death, the group has received thousands of dollars to help their annual scholarship. Typically, they hand out one scholarship. This year, they'll be able to hand out two to communications and English students at Hollins.

Smith says many are single mothers and nontraditional students. He believes they will allow Sarabeth's memory to live on and motivate others who shared her talent for writing.

“Mostly this scholarship is about recognition of potential talent in people and it means a lot to these women to be recognized by professional writers for being what they hope to be,” said Smith.

He says they'll be handing out a $1,500 and $500 scholarship, with help coming from as far as Zimbabwe. Sarabeth's family will be at Hollins, and her mother will present the scholarship Friday evening.