By Byron Spires,
Cynthia Riley, the mother of Crystal Riley who died during a tragic event involving another student after an East Gadsden High School homecoming dance in 2006, spoke Tuesday morning at the opening ceremony for the Second Annual Rural Summit held at the Florida Public Safety Institute.
The focus of this year’s two-day summit was school safety.
Gadsden County Sheriffs Major Shawn Wood introduced Riley saying that her tragedy and the death of Crystal was the driving force behind this year’s focus.
Riley spoke about the pain and suffering she and her family suffered at the hands of a student who had stolen a car and then backed over her and her daughter.
As Riley spoke, more than 300 participants in the summit sat quietly, listening as she gave the account of the night her daughter died.
Emotional at times, Riley, who was seriously hurt in the event, spoke about her daughter and her life that had ended too soon.
She received a standing ovation at the end of her story when she concluded by saying that she would continue to tell her story in order to make sure that children are kept safe at school.
The Summit was organized by the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with United States Attorney Pamela Marsh, the North Florida Domestic Security Task Force and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
You can see more about this event, and Cynthia Riley’s speech, at The Herald’s web page, havanaherald.net.