Laura Fortenberry
It came in a text message: "I love you."

A daughter's last words to her mother. The mom's last words: "I love you too."

It was Sunday night and 17-year-old Laura Fortenberry was on her way home to babysit her step-sister and brother.

"I was a single parent. I raised her on my own. There were times we only had each other," said Michelle Armstrong.

Armstrong says she always had trouble letting her daughter go even though her daughter was responsible. "I never worried about her because I knew she had a good head on her shoulders. She was going to do good things."

But Laura's life was cut short Sunday night.

Highway Patrol Troopers say 28-year-old Howard Pasour was driving drunk when his car crossed the center line on Dallas-Cherryville Highway. Two other teenagers in the car with Fortenberry were seriously injured. They are in Carolinas Medical Center.

Armstrong says she was concerned when her daughter didn't make it home as scheduled. She knew about the wreck, but thought the friends were just tied up in traffic. Then, more details emerged about the accident.

"I knew it was her." She learned the make of car involved in the wreck and knew it matched the car her daughter was riding in. " I knew she was the only 17-year-old in the car," said Armstrong.

Armstrong spent Monday evening talking about her daughter, showing pictures of a beautiful teenager with an engaging smile. Laura was attending college and wanted to work in forensics.

Michelle Armstrong is now filled with grief. "I hate him for what he robbed me of. She was the only thing I had for years," she said.

And according to police reports, Pasour was a habitual offender, arrested three times prior for drunk driving.

"I hope he gets the maximum. I want him to pay. I don't have nothing," said Armstrong.

-- by ANN SHERIDAN, NewsChannel 36
Published by Charlotte Observer on Jul. 27, 2010.
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94 Entries
I will keep you in my prayers. I lost my daughter to a drunk driver. May god be with you.
Richard Woods
February 3, 2015
megan barnes
December 12, 2011
She was such a wonderful person, I never heard of anyone who disliked her, not ever. Laura was the most gorgeous person that many of us ever knew, and she had a beautiful singing voice! Chorus was always fun with her and her best friend Megan in there, they cracked me up like all the time I miss you girl!
Cindy Morgan
December 15, 2010
she is with you all the time she is even beside you everywhere you go she is their with you
windy nichols
November 8, 2010
August 19, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and your family for peace and strength. God Bless your family.
Allison Mitchell
August 19, 2010
My heart goes out to you and your family. I pray that God will give you the strenght you need to cope. I can't say I know how you feel, but I do know that God knows and He promises to never leave nor forsake us. May God bless you and your family.
Selena Blackmon
August 18, 2010
May God strengthen you and your family. I have a 17 year old daughter, like you, I am terrifed to let her go out into the world. I pray for your heart, mind and soul to find peace. You and your family will always be in my prayers. God Bless
Adriane M
August 17, 2010
Steven A.
August 16, 2010
How my heart grieves for you and your tremendous loss. I have lost a son and know of the deep pain that accompanies such a loss. Cling to your loved ones and get your strength through theirs. And forever lean on the Arms of our Lord...who is the only true way to get through this diificut time.You now have my prayers as well....
Tammy Carrara
Tammy Carrara
August 16, 2010
You don't know me ... nor I you or your family; however, I have been a single mom to an amazing daughter...and like you and Laura, we have been a mighty team. My heart cries for you and your loss. God be with you.
August 16, 2010
im so sorry,, losing a child has got to be the hardest loss there is
pam wiggins
August 15, 2010
My heart is breaking for you. I pray that God will give you the strength you need to continue your life as your daughter would have wanted. I, too, hope the driver is put away forever so that no other mother will have to suffer as you are suffering.

Your daughter had a beautiful soul. It shines from the picture that I'm looking at. That soul continues on, and I do believe she continues to be near to you. May God bless you and your family at this terrible time.
Carole Nichols
August 15, 2010
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Margaret Williams
August 14, 2010
Patsy King
August 13, 2010
I am so sorry for your lost. Children can never be replaced, but God had a special place in Heaven. You are in my prayers and thoughts. I use to work with your Mother (Kay) at PYA. Tell her that I am thinking of her.
August 13, 2010
I have never met you before, but you will forever be in my prayers. I do not have any children of my own so I will never know your grief or your pain, but I pray for your heart not to feel so broken.
Edna Paige
August 12, 2010
May you feel God's embrace and love during this devastating time.
Bess Terrell
August 12, 2010
May the "God of all comfort" be with you as you cope with your loss.
Annie Ingram
August 11, 2010
God's Peace and Blessings upon you and your family.
Dana, Madison and Jordan
Dana Chambers
August 10, 2010
I am praying for your family. GOD loves you and so do I. I have lost friends in wrecks and it hurts soo bad. Jesus is walking right beside you.
Kim Dodgin
August 9, 2010
I'm very sorry for your loss. You are constantly in my prayers. God will give you the strength and courage you need.
Becka Walker
August 7, 2010
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers; my son was killed in an accident and know the pain of losing a child.
Carol Lee
August 5, 2010
i don't know you but i too lost my son at the age of 32 yrs in a plane crash he left behind a 3 years old son who is now 19 yrs old
for a long time i was mad at GOD for taking my son who seemed to have a bright future ahead of him it took me a long time to realize that GOD needed him more then we did here on earth
2 good books to help you get through this is wings by danielle steele and 90 minutes in heaven written by a minister who was in a horrible car wreck and pronouced dead at the scene during that time his soul went to heaven
please purchase and read
thinking of you and your family
joyce hill
August 5, 2010
Our heart goes out to you during this sad time. We have been down this road before when on Oct 1, 2000, our 19 year old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. May God keep his arms around you today and always...
Janis Cranford Ford
August 5, 2010
Ms.Armstrong, I don't know you but I am a mother too and admire your strength through all of this. I can not imagine the pain you are feeling. May God be with you and your family.
B Johnston
August 4, 2010
I am so sorry for your lost. May God comfort you and your family in your time of sorrow.
Unice Robinson
August 4, 2010
Earth's Loss But Heavens Gain
August 3, 2010
Im sorry for your lost. We will pray for your family. And God will give you the strength and comfort you for your lost.
Windy Nichols
August 3, 2010
After reading the article my heart goes out to you. I did not know her but God will give you strength he will comfort you. I will pray for your family.
Jason Sharpe
August 2, 2010
Im so sorry for your loss.I did'nt know laura just seeing her picture Icould tell she was a beautiful person;may god be with your family during this time.Your family will be in my heart
August 2, 2010
I am so sorry and I am keeping this family in my prayers.
Laura Finley
August 2, 2010
Laura was in my 4th&5th grade class.Im so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you at this time. "R.I.P LAURA!"
Rosie Rico
July 31, 2010
Im sorry for your loss , she was a sweet girl. And she had many of friends who cared for her much. Yall are in my prayers.
July 31, 2010
Your family will remain in my prayers. I am soory for your loss.
Donna Baker
July 31, 2010
After reading the articles and hearing the news my heart felt your pain. What a great loss. She was a beautiful child. She went to school with my son. May God give you the strength you need to accomplish everything in her memory with these DUI laws. Seek God for comfort, he will deliver. God Bless your family. Peace be with you.
The Harris Family
July 30, 2010
I am a subsitute teacher and at North Gaston a lot.I remember having her in class.A wonderful young lady.
July 30, 2010
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Donna Schermerhorn
July 30, 2010
We are so sorry for your loss. I pray that God continues to comfort you and lead you through this very dark time in your life.
The Cookes
July 29, 2010
We are so sorry for your loss. Beautiful girl, tragic ending - I hope that your family has comfort in the healing process.
The Todds
July 29, 2010
My heart breaks for you -- remember the times you had with her and know that she is in a better place!!
Lisa Carpenter
July 29, 2010
My heart goes out to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Patti Lyons
July 29, 2010
We remember when Laura and her mother were still members at our church. Laura was a sweet and quiet young lady. It is quite a shock to hear that she was the one who was mentioned in the news had her life cut short.
George & Mary Aikens
July 29, 2010
peggy hatcher
July 28, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I remember Laura from my daughters younger days in school and they also where Cheerleaders together...I can not imagine what you as a Mom are going through. She was a beautiful young lady and will always be remembered and loved. My God give you strength to get through this loss.

God Bless,
Lisa Borders
July 28, 2010
I didn't know your daughter or your family, but as a Police Officer I want you to know that it breaks my heart everytime something like this happens. This is especially true when it comes to children and young adults, primed to pursue their dreams. My prayers are with you in this time of sadness and grieving.
Richard Hutchinson
July 28, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss, you and your family are in my prayers.
Beth Reed-Melvin
July 28, 2010
I didnt know Laura personally but I was friends with Cassie. Laura was a beautiful girl I remember passing her everyday in the hall way at school and not once did I see her without a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed and never forgotten. You and your family are in our prayers and thoughts.
Mikaela Moose
July 28, 2010
Life in this world can bring tears and pain,especially when tragedy strikes and takes the Life of someone so young and full of life. We cry out due to the pain in our heart. Our tears and pain are not unnotice by our Heavenly Father. Although your deep pain will not easily disappear, may it bring you some comfort to know that Almighty God is near to those who are broken in heart and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. So may God comfort the family until he reunites loves ones into the arms of their families.
July 28, 2010
I am sorry for your loss.
Gennairey Covington
July 28, 2010
May God comfort you during this difficult time.
July 28, 2010
So sorry for your loss Michelle. I don't know you but I, too, work at Wix, Allen Plant. My heart goes out to you & your family! Laura was a beautiful girl! May God Bless You & Keep You during this difficult time. You are in our thoughts & prayers!
Angie Moss
July 28, 2010
Michelle, I doubt you remember me, but I knew Laura when I was younger, Laura and I did participated in the talent show together in 4th grade. I spent the night one night and went to Carowinds with ya'll. Me and her lost touch over the years, then I read the news. I never forgot her and she never will be forgotten, she will be forever loved. You, your family, and Laura's friends, everyone that knew her, will be in my prayers. GOD BLESS YOU!!!
Chasty King
July 28, 2010
July 28, 2010
I didn't know your daughter but live near where the accident occured. My husband and I travel that road everyday. It was a heart breaker to see the young people standing there yesterday in the rain remembering Laura. My heart goes out to you.
J.Beard Bessemer City, NC
Jean Beard
July 28, 2010
Laura was a dear friend and beloved daughter we are here for the family and we are praying for you.
Michelle Blanco
July 28, 2010
Dear Michelle,
So saddened to hear of the loss of Laura. My heart aches for you. Please know I will be holding you close in prayer and thought in the days to come.
Rhonda Hardy
July 28, 2010
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
July 28, 2010
May God Bless And Comfort You During This Difficult Time.

This is truly heartbreaking.
A Reader
July 28, 2010
AS I seen this in the news I can't imagine the pain you are going through. We want only for out children to be safe. Please know they are people out there who cares. Don't give up find a support group.I dont evan know you but I am praying for you.
Lynn Cranfield
July 28, 2010
Dear Mrs. Armstrong: I am so sorry for your loss. You, your family and Laura's friends are in our prayers.
Shayne Regnery
July 28, 2010
Dear Michelle My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. My God bless and comfort you. I didn't know Laura but I could tell that see was a beautiful and wonderful daughter. She was blessed to have just a wonderful family and friends.
Chris Davis
July 28, 2010
No bond is greater than that between a parent & child. My deepest condolences are with you as you grieve your daughter. Ps 37:10,11
L. Ellis
July 28, 2010
So sorry for your loss. I won't try to tell you i understand but I feel for you and am so glad you got to tel her you loved her one more time.
sarah cronk
July 27, 2010
I did not know her but you can tell just by her picture she was not only beautiful but could put beauty and joy into other people's lives. I am so sorry for your loss. May your faith in God and your precious memories get your family through this difficult time. With deepest sympathy, Michelle A. Griffin and family
Michelle Griffin
July 27, 2010
Tammy T
July 27, 2010
Dear Michelle,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May God be with you to hold and comfort you. Laura was truly a beautiful girl. She was blessed to be loved so deeply by you. May the memories of your precious daughter bring you peace.
With deepest sympathy,
Ann Nivens
Ann Nivens
July 27, 2010
Laura was kind to all persons and to those of us who were shy. We all enjoyed
her smile. Thank you Fortenberry family
for her compay.
Alicia Cartrette
July 27, 2010
Time does not heal the great loss of a loved one, especially a young child. I know that there will always be an emptiness in the hearts of those who knew and loved Laura. To those who knew Laura, my prayers go out that you will always remember her and never let her go.
Michael Miller
July 27, 2010
Im very sorry for your loss she will be missed alot. you and your famil will be in my prayers.
Ashley Prince
July 27, 2010
laura was a beautiful and very sweet young girl. She will be missed by her graduating class and every one who came in contact with her. Her mother and family will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Prince Family
July 27, 2010
To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, "I welcome you."

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is o'er.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......"My day was not in vain."
And now I am contented....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
©Copyright 1998-2010
susan chester
July 27, 2010
Michelle and Family,My heart broke for you all when I read about this horrible, unnecessary tragedy in the life of this beautiful, young girl.I cannot imagine the pain you all are going through right now. I pray that God will grant you the peace that passes all understanding. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
Carmen Byers
July 27, 2010
I am so sorry for all that your family has lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Patricia H
July 27, 2010
I'm sorry for your lost...
Dennis Mills
July 27, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain of losing a child. May the good Lord comfort you in the days and years ahead.
July 27, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful girl and I'm sure a wonderful daughter. May God comfort you during this time of sadness.
Teresa Buff
July 27, 2010
I can't imagine the pain and anguish you must be feeling now but please know that my prayers are with you and your family during the senseless loss of your child. I have a 21 year old son and I can't imagine what I would do without him. However I do know that as deep as your pain is there is one who can help you. Our heavenly father is there for you to comfort you in your time of distress. Go to him for refuge and peace. Isaiah 41:10. JHarris (Atlanta, GA)
July 27, 2010

I had the pleasure of teaching Laura at North Gaston in two different classes. She was everything the articles say and more. She was a beautuful young woman who knew what she wanted in her life. Since we share a first name we would giggle when someone called her "lora"...its "Lah-Rah" she would say! She was always smiling...My prayers are with you during this time.

Laura Fitch,
North Gaston CTE Teacher
Laura Ftich
July 27, 2010
Laura: you where the best thing that has ever happend to me and more than that you where the love of my life. I hate that you are gone i feel like you are still here. I cant except the fact that your not here i keep thinking that this is all just a bad dream that i will wake up from. I love you more than i could and can ever explain and im going to keep on. Im living my life for you. All that im doing is for you. Im not going to let this just blow over im going to make a difference. I keep talking to you but i dont here a answer just please say something back. I love you punkin. Its me and you for ever i promise.
Cassie Williams
July 27, 2010
im sorry for your lost.
alyssa lesmeister
July 27, 2010
July 27, 2010
Sorry for your Lost...
July 27, 2010
May the peace of God be with all of you now and forever.
July 27, 2010
It hurts when you lose aloved one,but God knows best so just put it in the hands of the Lord.My condolence goes out to the family. May God bless each and everyone of you.
Teressa T.
July 27, 2010
Our prayers are with you at this difficult time. The Bess Family WV,NC.
Sam Bess
July 27, 2010
I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. May she rest in peace and may God give you comfort during this horrible time.
Angela Padgett
July 27, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss, Laura was a beautiful young woman. I did not know Laura I just read about this in the paper and want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. She will remain in your memories and hearts forever.
Sarah Bumgardner
July 27, 2010
To her mother, my heart aches with your loss. Words are hard to find when something like this happens. I pray to God that you can find comfort within the wonderful memories you have of her. I also pray that strength will be with you as you endure the horrendous pain and hole this has left you with.
July 27, 2010
Michelle: On behalf of AmericaHomeKey, I wish to extend my deepest condolences. We are truly shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic loss of your beautiful daughters life. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you in the days to come as you somehow try to make sense of why she was taken from you too soon.


Dawn Sarte-Kelly
Branch Manager, AHK
Dawn Sarte-Kelly
July 27, 2010
Our thoughts & prayers ar with you. May God give you strength to get through this loss.
Debra Huneycutt
July 27, 2010
I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to your family. I can't think of any loss greater than the loss of a child. May God be with you as you go through these deeply painful times. Laura, rest in peace. You will be missed.

The Millens, Gastonia, North Carolina
July 27, 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with Laura's family and friends. We are so saddened by your loss. The Cloninger Family
July 27, 2010
My heart goes out to you and your family.She was a beautiful girl - I know the feeling of having just them since I was widowed when my kids were 5 and 7 - raising them alone gives you a different sort of bond. May God hold you close and you comfort at this time as you go thru every parents worse fear. Rest assured her life made a positive impact on this world.
Lina Fisher
July 27, 2010
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