Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chris Lane girlfriend Sarah Harper lost for words as she stands where he died - Sydney Morning Herald

Australian baseballer Chris Lane with his girlfriend Sarah Harper.

Australian baseballer Chris Lane with his girlfriend Sarah Harper. Photo: Supplied

Duncan, Oklahoma: Standing on the drying strip of curbside grass on Country Club Road where Chris Lane died on Friday afternoon, his partner, Sarah Harper could only bring herself to say a few words this morning.

"This is where his final moments were," she said, gesturing to the floral tributes that now mark the site. "It means a lot to me that people care. This is where he was last alive so I like being here."

It means a lot to me that people care 

Sarah Harper was accompanied by her cousins Tara Harper and Jeremy Wyre, who had made a wooden cross with Chris Lane's name engraved and burnt into for the site.

A jogger goes by the roadside memorial to Australian Chris Lane on Country Club Road in Duncan, Oklahoma.

A jogger goes by the roadside memorial to Australian Chris Lane on Country Club Road in Duncan, Oklahoma. Photo: Nick O'Malley

"He was our cousin too," said Tara Harper of Mr Lane.

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She said the two had shared "one of the most genuine loves I have ever seen… they gave a lot of people a lot of hope, they were best friends."

Mr Lane's family in Australia were still making arrangements for a funeral, Tara Harper said, and it is understood a memorial service will be held at the university where Mr Lane was on a scholarship playing baseball for East Central University.

"You can't go back, you've just got to go forward."

Mr Lane, 22, was jogging along this quiet street on Friday afternoon when he ran past three boys aged 15, 16 and 17 who wanted to kill someone, it is alleged. The local police chief, Danny Ford said in an interview with Fairfax that the 17-year-old told police that as Lane ran past them one of them said, "That's our target" and pursued him before shooting him with a small caliber handgun.

As he lay fatally injured on the verge, George Schwartz, 60, came out of his house thinking a car accident had happened. When he learnt the truth it stunned him. His 22-year-old son Edward had come by the house to pick up his 16-year-old brother Joseph three minutes before the shot was fired. "It could have been them," he said.

He offered his sympathy to Sarah and Mr Lane's family.

"It is just so sad."

Bill Renfrow was just coming home as Mr Lane died on the verge behind his house, and he too thought it must be the site of a hit and run. Nobody can quite believe something so terrible could happen in this little town.

"Everyone goes to bed when the sun sets," said Mr Renfrow.

As Sarah Harper and her cousins drove the cross into the ground the three young me accused of killing him were being held in the nearby Stephens County Courthouse, and are expected to be formally charged in a briefing hearing early this morning Australian time.

"She wants nothing to do with them," said Tara Harper. "She doesn't want to see them, she doesn't want to hear them, she won't be there," said Tara Harper.

"I don't think we will ever know why it happened. There was no reason for it to happen and no answer will ever be satisfying no matter what anybody says, you will never satisfy any of us because we can't get Chris back."


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