NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. -- Headline Surfer had a lot of prominent Central Florida news stories in 2017, but none tore at the heartstrings of online users more than Oct. 29's story headlined, BREAKING NEWS: New Smyrna Beach Cops: Local gal Kaelee Morrell, 21, killed in hit & run; other driver flees in black Chevy Tahoe.
In the first 24 hours of its posting, the tragic story on the death of 21-year-old Kaelee Morrell was accessed by 27,642 online users around the world. It was the award-winning news site's most viewed story of 2017, with a whopping 42,803 page views. The Headline Surfer story was seen by users in 3,078 cities within 96 countries on the planet. It was seen by online users in the US in all 50 states with two-thirds of them throughout the Sunshine State.
Headline Surfer is especially proud of this story because it went beyond the press release treatment given these types of fatal motor vehicle crashes where questions often go unanswered such as where was the person coming from or heading to, what was their standing in the community and what had they accomplished when their life was taken from them.
Morrell was side-by-side with another motorist on State Road 44 when they made contact and left the roadway. The other driver then took off and she was left to die.
While providing the nuts and bolts reporting provided by New Smyrna Beach police, Headline Surfer focused just as much, if not more on her young life in a special multimedia presentation called NEW SMYRNA GAL GONE JUST LIKE THAT and subtitled Hopes & Dreams of Kaelee Morell dashed at 21. It featured social media pics of the young woman with captions and ending with a video of Evanescence performing "My Immortal " at the Billboard Music Awards, via licensing this writer has as an online news publisher.