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Friends, family say goodbye to Donna Peden

By Staff
REMEMBERING Ashley Peden, 7, pauses to remember her older sister, Donna, who died early Sunday morning. The siblings' mother said Ashley was dearly loved by her older sister. Photo by Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Aug. 18, 2001
Friends and family will say goodbye today to Meridian High School graduate Donna Deloise Peden, whose body was found in heavy traffic early Sunday about 20 miles south of Washington.
Peden's 7-year-old sister is having trouble understanding that her older sister isn't coming back. Peden would have been 20 next month.
Virginia State Police are still trying to determine what caused Peden to fall from a Greyhound bus along a busy stretch of Interstate 95. The highway connects Richmond, Va., and Washington.
An autopsy was conducted earlier in the week, but officials are not yet releasing the preliminary results.
Peden, the oldest of three sisters and a brother, graduated with honors in 2000. Her passion was for the military, having joined ROTC in junior high.
After graduation, Peden left for Army Reserve boot camp. But her career was cut short by medical problems, her mother said.
Peden turned her attention to Atlanta, having moved there recently in search of a job.
Cashaura King said her best friend was capable of accomplishing anything in life.
Peden's ROTC instructor, Truitt Breazeale, described his former student as a "team player."
Peden's funeral is set for 11 a.m. at St. Peter AME Zion Church.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.