BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – The father of a 14-year-old girl killed in a crash last Saturday says he's determined to do what she would have wanted him to -- carry on, spread hope and forgive the teen who was driving the pickup truck she was in.
"Jordan (Sommise) was just a very bubbly young lady that met no strangers whatsoever," said Duane Sommise, Jordan's father. "She could talk to somebody immediately and you would think you were her friend for 100 years."
Sommise said he has nothing but the fondest of memories of his daughter.
"God needed an angel that -- Jordan was a country-talking lady and would talk your ears off, and I think God's thinking right now, 'Why did he take this one?' Because they have not stopped chatting since she's been up there," Sommise said.
Saturday night, a crash took Jordan's life, but her legacy remains.
"She's touched everyone's lives from here," her father said. "I've gotten emails from people in Virginia where she's met people over three years ago in youth camps. They have gotten in touch with us and said what an inspiration she was to them."
Jordan lived for going to church and was active in her youth group.
"She was very involved in Normandy Park Baptist Church in the youth group," Sommise said. "I was talking to the youth pastor earlier and he made comments that Jordan was their inspiration to come to youth group every Sunday morning. She would call people and text them and send them Facebook messages to get them to come to church and meet her there."
When asked if he was upset at 17-year-old Austin Kight, who was driving the pickup truck in the crash, Sommise referred to a message he wrote on Facebook.
"I wrote on In Memory of Jordan Sommise's wall. I said, 'Gage Kight and his family will be attending both services at my request. I have spoke with the young man and this was a tragic accident that could have been avoided and I have hurt in my heart but no hate for this family. We have all done things that could have been tragic but were lucky not to cause this much hurt.'"
Corey Craig, 17, who was also in the truck, was paralyzed from the waist down.
There will be a community fundraiser to assist with Craig's medical bills and funeral expenses for the family of Sommise at 1 p.m. Dec. 15 at Shoals Park in Glen St. Mary.
A benefit account has been opened at First Federal Bank of Florida in the names of Jordan Sommise and Corey Craig.
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.