SPECIAL REPORT: Justice for Shelly

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In August of 2002, Shelly Meadors and two friends were vacationing in Destin until tragedy struck. The three girls left their hotel room at the Holiday Inn and were walking on the sidewalk of highway 98 when what has been described as a light-colored pickup truck towing a trailer, jumped the sidewalk and crashed into the girls.

“Some sort of truck came up on the sidewalk where they were standing, hit two of the girls, Shelly ended up losing her life, the other girl was severely injured,” said OSCO Public Information Officer, Michele Nicholson. 

Shelly experienced the main impact from the truck and Tiffany Logsdon who was next to Shelly was severely injured. The third girl, Lauren was not hurt in the crash but was said to have rushed immediately to the girl’s aid. Bystanders who saw the crash happen also rushed to the aid of the young girls who were hit, but unfortunately, no one saw anything.  

“This happened about 8 p.m. in August in Highway 98 in Destin so as you can imagine, there’s going to be a lot of people around but unfortunately nobody got a tag number. This truck just continued going, nobody stopped and nobody rendered aid from that vehicle,” said Nicholson. 

As to who hit the girls, it still remains a mystery. While the case remains unsolved almost 17 years later, the trail has not gone cold. Officials with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office have received a number of leads throughout the year and have followed each one carefully but have yet to come to find the person responsible. 

Logsdon looks back on the day and said she believes the driver was drunk. “The sun was going down and we assumed maybe someone had been out on the water and a lot of people who go out boating are out drinking, so we can only assume that he was drinking,” she said. 

The family of Meadors along with friends and others in the community still wonder to this day who killed Shelly. Crimestoppers has launched a number of billboards and campaigns to find the person responsible and OCSO brings attention to the case every year on the anniversary of the accident. 

Nicholson who works for the Sheriff’s office now as a public information officer covered the case as a young reporter. She said she has stayed in touch with Shelly’s mother throughout the years and at this point she just wants closure. 

“She just wants to know what happened and she’s not even concerned whether or not this person is going to be prosecuted or not, she just wants some closure to know what happened,” said Nicholson. 

As for the two girls who survived the accident, Tiffany, and Lauren, they’ve lost touch over the years. “We were 15, we were young, we didn’t know how to handle it. We wish each other the best, but it was very traumatic for us,” said Logsdon. 

Logsdon even had plans to get married in the Panhandle last fall on October 13th to honor her friend Shelly, but Hurricane Michael blew those plans away. 

She said it would have been special to get married in a place she had so many great memories with her best friend. “It would have felt complete just knowing and I just feel like she’s there. I know she’s buried here in Louisville but I always will remember her there, running on the beach and the laughter… it would have meant a lot,” said Logsdon. 

As far as the case, OCSO officials are continuing to urge anyone with any information about the person or vehicle responsible to come forward and give this family the closure that they’ve been waiting over a decade for.  
 

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