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Father celebrates daughter's life, commitment to charity

By Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Oct 09 2013 08:22:32 PM CDT
Rick Freier
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -

The father of Josie Freier, one of two teens killed in a car crash Saturday night is hoping to carry on her legacy by speaking out about his daughter's life and what she would want people to do to remember her.

Freier and her friend, McKenzie Mott, were killed in a single-car crash Saturday night. The driver of the car, Preston Maher, is in the hospital in stable condition. All three were sophomores at University High School, whose student population has been devastated by this tragedy.

"They were great, great kids," Rick Freier, Josie's dad, said.

Freier, an investigator with the Spokane Valley Fire Department, said his daughter loved helping other people. The 15-year-old loved playing soccer, spending time with friends and family, made funny faces and gestures and had a good spirit.

"Understood the difference between right and wrong; I want them to remember a person that was willing to stand up and say that's wrong," Rick Freier said.

Freier said that Josie wouldn't want people to cry; instead she'd want them to come together to give. That's why he pointed people to the Toys For Tots program, to ask to donate in her honor. The donations have flooded in.

"I thought today, I'd tell you this is something Jo Jo would really dig. She'd think this was really cool," Freier said.

Toys For Tots was Josie's favorite charity, something she would spend all of her earned money on.

"I know that she would just want everybody to heal. And she would just want them to continue to laugh and love," Freier said.

The devastating crash Saturday night took Rick's daughter but won't take his memories of her and it won't take the diary of hers he recently found, 70 pages of her thoughts and dreams. Rick's pride in her life -- and death -- is visibly beaming.

"What I learned about her from that notebook, makes me want to scream from the top of the world. Holding that thing and saying, 'This is my kid,'" he said.

You can bring a new toy to any Spokane Valley fire station if you'd like to donate in her honor. Meanwhile, a celebration of Josie Freier's life is scheduled for this Friday at 1 p.m. at the Valley Fourth Memorial Church.

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