BAKER COUNTY, Fla. - Students at Baker County High School gathered at a prayer vigil Monday morning to remember 14-year-old Jordan Sommise, who was killed in a crash over the weekend.
Friends of Sommise gathered around the school's flagpole at 7:15 a.m. According to a Facebook page created in the teen's honor, students were encouraged to wear pink to school on Monday.
Troopers said Austin Kight, 17, was driving north on Claude Harvey Road at 9:45 p.m. Saturday when he attempted to pass another vehicle. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the pickup went off the road and Kight attempted to steer the pickup back onto the road. He lost control and the truck crossed the road and off the other side, overturning in the woods.
Kight, and passengers Corey Craig and Sommise (pictured, right), were ejected. Kight and Craig, both 17, sustained serious injuries and were transported to medical facilities for treatment. Kight has since been released. Sommise was declared dead at the scene.
"Jordan was like no other. She was so kindhearted and made sure nobody was down," Meagan Highsmith, Sommise's friend, wrote to Channel 4. "She always put everyone else first. On March 20th, 1998, this world received a beautiful girl. On December 1st, 2012, heaven received a beautiful Angel. She may not be here, but she's always in our hearts. She was my everything."
A makeshift memorial of flowers and photos of family and friends now sits at the crash site. Sommise was being homeschooled this year, but her friends say she was going to head back to the school next year.
Peyton Keefer, also a friend of Sommise's wrote to Channel 4 and said, "We miss her so much. She was always the life of the party. She always had something nice to say and had so many friends and family that loved her. I don't know one person who didn't have anything nice to say about her. She was so sweet. She was such a beautiful girl and we will always have a place in our hearts for her. She may be gone from our world, but she will never, ever be forgotten."
The accident report says charges are pending.
Kight has no previous traffic citations. He was allowed to drive at the time of the accident without adult supervision.
There are rules in place regarding teens and when they can drive. For 16-year-olds, they can drive from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Otherwise they have to be with a licensed adult or be going to and from work. For 17-year-olds, the time restrictions are less. They can be out until 1 a.m. And for 18-year-olds, there are no restrictions.
Ron Page, of the Northeast Florida Safety Council, spoke about whether these restrictions make a difference.
"I would like to say yes, but I think what is happening is there are more teens driving now than there ever were before, and they are attributing part of the increase in teen deaths to that," Page said. "Plus, the teens are not getting the training they should be getting. Some schools as result of budget cuts are doing away with drivers education."
A viewing for Sommise will be held Friday from 5-8 p.m. at Fraser Funeral Home on Normandy Boulevard in Jacksonville Her funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary.
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