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Belton teen plants tree in honor of friend who died in wrong-way crash

Posted at 4:22 PM, Nov 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-09 11:20:24-05

A Belton teenager planted a tree in honor of a friend whose life ended too soon.

Tyler Brown, 15, decided to turn his Eagle Scout project into a memorial for his friend, Anna Bronson. On Saturday, he planted a tree outside of Mill Creek Elementary School.

“She was a good friend of mine and everybody knows her,” said Tyler.

Anna died on July 4, 2011 when the SUV her mother was driving was hit head-on by a drunk driver. That driver was going the wrong way on I-435 near Blue Parkway. Anna was only 11 years old. Her mother also died.

In April 2013, Anna’s father, Leroy “Buddy” Bronson, also died in a wreck involving driver who ran a red light.

“It's so meaningful to know that she meant so much to him,” said Brown’s mother, Sandy Brown.

A small tree already stood in front of Mill Creek Elementary School, but the plaque with Anna’s name had been destroyed. And the tree was drying.

Tyler decided for his Eagle Scout project he would plant a new tree and build a memorial around it. He, Anna’s brother and her best friend each created a stepping stone with a special message on it. Tyler also built an “angel” bench with a local firefighter to be placed near the tree.

“We were in the same class, we had like every class together, we always laughed, played around, had lunch together,” Tyler said. “We all love her, she was a great friend, her family was great.”

The tree, Tyler said, represents strength, friendship and love.

“Just overwhelmed with joy and proud that he took this in his hands and just went with it,” said his mother.

They hope the tree will grow and sit in front of the school for years to come so young Anna’s life will be remembered forever.