Candlelight vigil held to honor mother, son killed in Hickory crash

HICKORY, N.C. — An intimate memorial was held in Hickory to honor the lives of a mother and son who were lost in a fatal crash.

More than 35 close friends and family of Cynthia Fox and her son, Michael Lail, carried lit candles, shared fond memories, and demanded change as they gathered along Highway 70, where the crash happened just one week before.

Ch. 9 brought you the story last week, where Fox and her son were trying to cross Highway 70 when a Hickory police officer slammed into the side of their minivan during a high-speed chase.

Veteran crime reporter Glenn Counts attended the vigil and spoke with Cynthia’s mom, Beth Fox, as she tries to navigate the unimaginable loss and keep both her daughter’s and grandson’s legacies alive.

“All these people that are here, she touched their lives in some way, and I want that legacy to live on,” said Beth Fox.

Ella Gayer, Cynthia Fox’s daughter, told Counts about the practically inseparable bond that Michael and her mother shared.

“Mom and Michael were a bond that everybody wants, whether that’s a friendship, a family ship, or a relationship, they had it,” Gayer said.

The motorcycle driver, who was the subject of the high-speed chase, has been charged, but Cynthia Fox’s family wants the officer charged as well; of course, no amount of justice can return their loved ones.

“God had a better plan for them, and they are not hurting anymore,” Gayer said. “And they are still together.”

While Michael might not be here, he left a gift behind—the chance at a full life for six other children—by donating his organs.

“They were absolutely a perfect match for another child, so he helped,” Beth Fox said. “Six children to be able to live a full life, that he couldn’t live, and that’s just who Michael is.”

Participants in Saturday night’s vigil don’t want Cynthia or Michael’s deaths to be in vain; they are fighting for change to ensure no other family has to go through their pain. They are starting with a statewide no-chase campaign, an act they intend to push for.

(WATCH BELOW: Family says crash with Hickory officer that killed mom, son ‘should not have happened’)