The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Friends, family of crash victims remember women as friendly and optimistic

Photo by Photos from Facebook

Clockwise from top left: As of Sunday evening, Rene Contreras is in fair condition, Tyra Preston is in stable condition and Corinthia Williams and Alexis Emmou were pronounced dead at the scene.

A crowd of more than 100 people gathered on Simpson Drill Field Wednesday to mourn and celebrate the lives of Corinthia ‘Nikki’ Williams and Alexis Emmou, who died early Sunday in an auto accident. The evening began with a prayer and was followed by an emotional exchange of memories from the friends and families of the two women.
“I can honestly say I feel so overwhelmed, honored and blessed to be there with Nikki and Alexis on their last day,”  said university studies senior Tyra Preston. “They have inspired me to spread their love and honor them in everything I do.”
Preston was one of the four involved in the crash that killed Emmou and Williams. She is currently in stable condition and recovering in a wheelchair.   
The prayer group and gathering was organized entirely by Emmou and Williams’ friends. Bioenvironmental sciences junior Alexuis Hogan said she and her friends organized the event as soon as they could.
“We spammed social media and put up flyers on Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, everywhere,” Hogan said. “We were expecting 60 people, 100 maximum.”
Hogan said the original plan was to release lanterns, but it switched last minute to balloons after the group learned over 100 people would be present.
“Sixty lanterns would not have nearly been enough,” Hogan said. “We’re thankful for the lives of Nikki and Alexis because without their impact, this turnout would have been nothing.”
Hogan passed out pink and white balloons to everyone in the crowd. The ceremony ended as people released hundreds of balloons while Beyonce’s “Heaven” played in the background.
Djuan Johnson, sports management junior, said Williams will be remembered for her ability to bring joy to others.
“[Nikki] would do anything to put smiles on people’s faces because she loved people,” Johnson said. “No matter how hard her life was she still prevailed and motivated people, even when she was the one needing to be motivated.”
Johnson said Nikki thought about others before herself and was confident and outgoing.
Emmou’s entire family was present at the gathering. Dianna Emmou, Alexis Emmou’s mother, said the family had a great time driving to College Station, laughing and reminiscing over good memories.
“[Alexis] is fine, she’s so much better than fine,” Dianna Emmou said. “She’s great where she is right now. It is important that we were so blessed to have her for the time we had her.”
With the turnout Wednesday, Dianna Emmou said it was evident that people loved and cared about her daughter.
The attendees comprised of students, family members and professors alike — all of whom said they were equally touched by the lives of Williams and Emmou.
Second-year veterinary student Erin Black said she came to honor their memories.
“I didn’t know [Emmou and Williams] too well but I know they’ve impacted people,” Black said. “It’s so sad to lose such young people to something as tragic as this. I met them both when they first came to A&M and knew they both had bright futures.”
Sociology professor Reuben May said forming bonds with other students like Williams and Emmou is part of the college experience.
“[College] is a place where you learn a lot of different things, bond and develop relationships and friendships,” May said. “It is also an opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the beautiful things and beautiful ways people impact you.”
Johnson said he greatly appreciates the support from the Aggie family.
“They were really helpful in everything we did to make sure our voices were heard,” Johnson said.

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  • Students visit Simpson Field, where they pay their respects at a memorial Wednesday, April 6th, dedicated to Nikki and Alexis, who passed away this past weekend. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Volunteers passed balloons to the crowd, which they released at the end of the memorial for Nikki and Alexis, on Wednesday April 6th. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Students, friends, and family members line up to write messages to Nikki and Alexis on Wednesday, April 6th. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Students, friends, and family members line up to write messages to Nikki and Alexis on Wednesday, April 6th. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • Students, friends, and family members listen to stories given by Alexis’s and Nikki’s loved ones on Wednesday, April 6th. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • D’Juan “D.J.” Johnson, recalls Nikki’s catchphrases for the crowd, during the memorial Wednesday night, April 6th. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
  • At the end of the memorial for Alexis and Nikki on Wednesday, April 6th, the crowd let go of their balloons in honor of Alexis and Nikki. 

    Photo by Timothy Lai
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