Candy Poling died last month in a head-on collision in Elkview.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A large number of people came out on a chilly Monday night to remember Candy Poling, a young mother who had a warm heart.

“She was a wonderful mother and that’s what she wanted more than anything to give and that’s why she wanted to be a nurse so she could kind of continue that spirit and keep on giving,” said Michael Pauley, the fiance of Poling.

Family, friends and classmates gathered at the University of Charleston for a candlelight vigil in honor of Poling, who died in a head-on crash last month in Elkview.

Poling left behind two children and was 16 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident. Pauley said the couple was planning to enjoy family life. 

“I don’t know what to do. I’m a single dad with two kids and I don’t know what to do now,” he said. “It’s just unfortunate.”

The nursing program at UC, where Poling was a student, held the vigil Monday night to show their support for the victim’s family.

Pauley said the amount of support shown has helped him get through to this point and it’s his kids and the memories of Candy that will push him to continue on.

“She made me a better person. She was the better part of me, so it’s just that I have to go on for them now and just try to uphold her spirit for the rest of our lives until I can maybe finally see her again one day,” Pauley said.

Pauley commented on how Poling made a difference in his life, but how she also made a difference in other people’s lives. That was made very evident by the crowd that gathered.

“I’m thinking about some way, maybe establishing some kind of scholarship here at UC in her name and the baby’s name to maybe help working nursing students, whether male or female, fathers and mothers,” he said.

For about an hour, family and friends stood in a circle with their candles raised towards the sky reminiscing on the great memories made with Poling.

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