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Virginia teen to be buried in dress she never got to wear to prom

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Posted at 12:55 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 12:55:21-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — Sarah Ingram had the prom dress in hand, but 2020 had other plans.

The Meadowbrook High School student's senior prom was canceled in 2020 when COVID-19 shuttered school buildings across the country.

Two years later, the 19-year-old Meadowbrook graduate will be buried in the dress she never got to wear to prom after a tragic turn of events in the months since her senior year came to a jarring conclusion.

Ingram was the 19-year-old passenger killed in a Saturday morning crash in Chesterfield County, according to police.

The car she was riding in ran off the road and hit a tree along the 4400 block of Beulah Road at about 8:50 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The driver, 22-year-old Luis Adolfo Llerena Leon, of Richmond, was arrested and charged with DUI and DUI manslaughter, according to police.

"That was my baby," Sarah's father, Jason Ingram, said. "She was full of light, never met a stranger."

Jason Ingram said his daughter and Llerena Leon were friends, and he had seen them earlier that morning.

He saw them again, hours later, when he happened to drive by the crashed car.

"I saw the car. It didn't look too bad from the back," Jason Ingram said. "I told the police I thought I knew who was in the car. They asked me my name and later said my baby had died."

Sarah Ingram wanted to be an immigration lawyer.

"She was drawn to the Hispanic community," her father said.

But last year, her life was turned upside down.

In August 2021, her boyfriend Isaac Rodriguez, 21, was shot and killed outside his home in the 4100 block of Richmond Highway.

Her boyfriend's murder shifted her focus as she sought justice for Isaac. But it also sent her down a dark path as she tried to mask her pain with substance abuse.

"If anyone wants to honor her memory, share the story about Isaac," her father said.

The family set up a GoFundMe to help with the unexpected funeral costs.

Anyone with information was asked to call Chesterfield Police at 804-748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660.

Scott Wise at WTVR first reported this story.