Accident victim speaks out against roadside memorials

Posted at 9:17 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 23:17:54-05
Kimberly Thomas was headed home to Emmitt on Highway 16 after a day in Boise when she said she saw a car flying down Floating Feather Road.
She started to brake thinking they were going to blow through the stop sign, but then, "the car stopped," said Thomas. "I was like ok they stopped so I turned my attention back to the road in front of me and the next thing I knew out of my peripheral vision I caught movement and then CAR."
The next thing she remembered was waking up in the ditch, blood spewing from her head, not knowing what had happened.
A 16-year-old driver and a passenger pulled out right in front of Thomas.
The 16-year-old girl was taken to the hospital but a week later she died. 
Thomas said when she found out she was floored that such a simple mistake could cost the girl her life.
The crash was devastating for all, the young driver, her family, the passenger, and Thomas.
"My life as it was ended that night on the highway also," said Thomas.
Thomas said the broken bones she suffered in the accident were painful, but was lingers is the emotional trauma. Four years later she is still suffering from PTSD.
"After the accident, I had flashbacks of the event, of hitting that car over and over and over again," cried Thomas.
Thomas now suffers from anxiety and depression and sees a doctor.
While she said she is trying to move on with her life, one thing keeps making her re-live that night, the roadside memorial placed on the side of Highway 16.
"It's like having it shoved back in my face again," said Thomas. "It is a constant reminder to me of that event that night. Every time I had to drive by or be taken by be driven by that memorial. This person changed my life. I don't agree with this, but what can I do."
Thomas said the daily stress of driving by the memorial became too much to bare, so she moved to Boise.
She said she's thought about writing a letter to the girl's parents, but time and time again she just couldn't bring herself to put pen to paper.
What do you say to the family of a teenager that was killed in an accident," said Thomas.
While she said she is sorry that a family lost their loved once, she said she will also never be the same, and she wants other survivors who much look at memorials to know they are not alone
"There is another side to these stories," said Thomas. "I hope if it doesn't help me it might help somebody else."