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Local woman killed in accident remembered as unique individual

By Naomi Prioleau
Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:10 a.m.

<p>A makeshift memorial was created for Samantha Mackinnon who was killed after being struck by a vehicle on Friday evening.</p>

Though feeling depressed, Samantha Mckinnon was not ready to die Friday. She said those very words to her mother and step-father Friday afternoon.

Four hours later, she was killed on Marshall's North side, the victim of an auto-pedestrian accident.

Her family and friends Monday mourned the loss of a woman they said could instantly make strangers comfortable and feel like a friend.

"Sam always saw good things in people even if they weren't really all there," Ms. Mackinnon said. "She would always try to find something good in someone even though maybe they weren't quite deserving of it."

Friends described her as the type of person people could gravitate toward. When she met producer and actor Tyler Perry in Marshall while working at one of her restaurants, he said, "I like you," after she asked for his identification to order a beer even though she knew who he was.

Samantha was walking on North Franklin Street with a friend, heading to a class on Poplar Street when she was struck by pick-up. She was walking because her own car was having mechanical problems.

Four hours before her death Samantha told her mom, M'Lisa Mackinnon and step-father Randy Taylor that she was feeling depressed that day and felt like she was dying inside, but said, "I'm not ready to die today though."

Working at numerous jobs around Marshall from Chili's to El Chico, it was known that Samantha had a strong following of loyal customers no matter what her place of employment was.

Deemed the "wild child" of the family and at her jobs, because of her various hair colors, her free spirit made her stand out amongst her peers. Samantha knew she was different and accepted it.

"She had a clear understanding that she was different," her mother said. "She knew that she was different."

Her boyfriend of seven years, Matthew, said she was his soul mate.

"I'll never love anyone else," he said.

Though she was a very loving person, Samantha was very picky with who she opened herself up to.

"She was extremely loving, but she was extremely picky with her love," Ms. Mackinnon said.

Those closest to her said that while she was a people person and had a big heart, it was best not to double cross her or those near and dear to her heart. Taylor, her mother and her sister Brenna Wardell all spoke of how strong she was both mentally and physically.

"She's tough, she could put it on you," Taylor said. "If you mess with her, you're going to be breakfast, lunch and dinner with her."

Despite everything her family is facing with the ongoing investigation of what happened that Friday night, Ms. Mackinnon is thankful to the Marshall community for helping cover some the funeral expenses and Samantha's personal expenses.

"We're so grateful to everyone, the community that has reached out to us," Ms. Mackinnon said.

Samantha will have a private memoriam on Saturday at 2 p.m.

"She was wonderful, she was gracious, she was honest and she had a lot to offer to the world," Ms. Mackinnon said. "I guess she has a lot to offer somewhere else."

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