Family, friends remember a victim of Jan. 25th Clay accident

Eric Corley

Family and friends are saying goodbye to a young man who died after a January 25th accident on Trussville Clay Road. {}The crash happened just one day before Eric Corley's 21st birthday. Friday night, hundreds gathered at the South Roebuck Baptist Church. His family asked to keep the service private, but we had the chance to talk with several of his friends who wanted to share their stories about Eric's life. Saying goodbye is never easy.{}"Eric was one of my closest friends, we've known each other for so long," Isaac Elmain, a friend of Eric's said.The people who knew Eric Corley best, are calling this 'goodbye' a 'celebration of life.'"My fondest memory was when Eric came to the door with a little puppy, Eric came to the door in his pajamas - he had Scooby Doo slippers on and he came to the door and said, 'can you please take this puppy? My daddy won't let me keep it.' It was just so cute! We have this puppy now!" Deborah Jenkins, Eric's neighbor said.While Eric was in the hospital, a group of friends started a campaign called 'Pray for Eric.' Those words appeared on cars all over town, lit up social media, and spread - not only across Alabama, but neighboring states. People who didn't even know Eric were praying. {}And at Friday's visitation, the parking lot wasn't big enough to hold everyone."It's just amazing, the turnout is just amazing," Jenkins said. "It tells you what kind of a person he is and his family is.""Always a willing, giving family," Jonathan Freeman, a family friend said. "I think people turn out for - to show them support. There are hundreds inside. It's a sweet testimony to a great life lived by a great kid."Eric's family and friends are reflecting on his life and how they want him to be remembered."For who he was, his goofy self, all the memories we have of him and always have them in our hearts," Elmain said.16-year-old James David Shirley was also killed in the crash. His service was held last week.On Saturday, family and friends will hold a one-hour Celebration of Life service at the site of the accident on Trussville-Clay Road beginning at 1 p.m., creators of the Prayers for Eric Corley Facebook page announced Friday night. The mayor of Clay, Charles Webster, is having the road blocked off while the service is held.