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South Bend remembers Kelli Haines

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Tonight, the city of South Bend is continuing to remember the life of 31-year-old Kelli Haines.

Friday, ABC 57 first told you Haines lost her life in a gruesome single vehicle crash near the intersection of State Road 23 and 30th Street.

But now an entire community is making sure Haines isn’t remembered for that deadly night.

Sunday afternoon, Render Kitchen &  Bar was jam packed since 2 pm.

Hundreds of Kelli’s friends and family members were there for hours celebrating a life, gone too soon.

“She was amazing, she was indescribable, she did not know an enemy all she knew was friends everybody was family no matter if she knew you for 2 seconds or 10 years, you were family this outpouring here is part of showing it,” said Tammy Kirby, Kelli’s mother.

The restaurant, normally closed on Sunday, opened their doors for a benefit, honoring Kelli’s life.

Just two days ago, that life was taken far too soon.

Haines, a bar manager at the restaurant since it opened 9 months ago, drove her vehicle into a utility pole in the early hours of Friday morning.

Her former boss and good friend, Bryan Robertson, says she’s an irreplaceable employee and spirit.

“I just right away realized how tough it was going to be because she was part of our family, a key part of our operation I hate to say we can’t do it without her but it felt like that right away,” said Robertson.

Render Kitchen & Bar will continue to honor Haines’ life by adding her signature on their bar.

All proceeds from Sunday’s event will go towards Kelli’s funeral expenses.

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