Mother of boy killed on I-24 speaks for first time

Clifton Braunwalder
Clifton Braunwalder was hit and killed while changing his mother's flat tire on I-24.

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The mother of a 13-year-old killed while changing a flat tire on Interstate 24 is speaking for the first time about her son.

It has been nearly two months since Clifton Braunwalder was struck and killed. His mother, Sondra Braunwalder, said he was always eager to help others.

“He was always smiling, he was always happy, he always wanted to make sure everyone else was happy,” Braunwalder said.

Clifton Braunwalder and family
Sondra Braunwalder said her son was always willing to help people.

On April 10, Braunwalder got a flat tire while driving with Clifton and his 12-year-old sister Louann on I-24 near Smyrna.

Clifton was almost done changing the tire when Tennessee Highway Patrol investigators said Tina Wilson hit him and took off.

Wilson was later arrested and booked into the Rutherford County Jail where she is being held on $250,000 bond.

“If I could do it again and change it, I would do it in a heartbeat. If I had the premonition. But I don’t have that choice, and you know the hardest thing is that we just have to keep on going on,” Braunwalder explained.

The family said they are thankful for all the support they received after their son’s death.

Clifton Braunwalder
Clifton Braunwalder was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on I-24 in Smyrna.

“I want to say thank you to all those people who take the time out to do that and let us know that they are thinking of us,” stated Norbert Braunwalder, Clifton’s father.

He said he recently learned that anyone who has a roadside emergency can call the THP and they will send a trooper to help out. He hopes everyone utilizes this tool.

Anyone that would like to help the Braunwalders can make contributions to one of the organizations close to their son, including the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America Summer Camp Campership Program, MTSU’s Catholic Center, Nashville Rescue Mission, and St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church‘s youth group.

Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church located at 1601 North Tennessee Boulevard in Murfreesboro. Call 615-893-1843 for more information.

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