ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - The driver that hit and killed a 17-year-old girl and critically injured another teen is now charged with murder and aggravated DUI.
On June 22, the Hardin County Sheriff's Office said Michael Hilton, 34, was driving drunk when he struck Brianna Taylor's car. In 2006 Hilton was sentenced to three years in prison for repeated DUI offenses.
Michael Hilton, 34, is behind bars in Hardin County and being held on a $1 million bond.
Brianna Taylor, 17, just graduated from Elizabethtown High School a couple weeks ago and was planning on attending college this fall. First she wanted to enjoy her summer, but on a way home from a fishing trip her life was cut tragically short.
"We think to ourselves why, why did it happen?" said Brianna's brother, Brice Taylor. "It's got to be for a better reason."
Brice said his little sister could light up any room and left a lasting impression on just about everyone she ever met.
The chiropractor she interned with while in high school agreed. "She had a kindness that was beyond her years," said Dr. Robert Darnell, with Chiropractic Health and Fitness Systems. "It showed great training in her home even to the point that she was such a strong Christian that it makes me think that I sort of knew what Jesus must have been like when I recall her."
Her long time friend Jordyn Fields said, "She was just happy and outgoing and always welcoming to everybody."
Dee Neaderhiser, who works at the bowling alley Brianna's parents own, said, "She said 'I'll never be too old to give you a hug.'"
"She wanted to grow up to impact somebody and obviously she did in just 17 years," said Brice Taylor.
Brianna had so much life to live. Brice said she was excited to attend Western Kentucky and dreamed of becoming a speech pathologist.
"I was planning on going to Western with Bri this Fall and we always talked about visiting each other in our dorm rooms and the things that we are going to do in college and so it is going to be really hard," said her friend Lacey Graham.
To Brianna's family and friends, it's reality that can't be changed.
"I know that she is in a better place and that helps a lot to know that she is happy and she's not feeling pain anymore and she's in a place that I'll see her again one day," said Graham.
"I'll miss her cute smile that she would give me, her pretty face and that hug. I will miss that hug," said Neaderhiser.
Mickayla Harig, 18, remains at University Hospital. Friends said doctors are hopeful, but it is still touch and go.
In 2006 Hilton was sentenced to three years in prison for repeated DUI offenses. He is now behind bars in Hardin County and being held on a $1 million bond.