Remembering woman killed in Christmas Eve crash

22-year-old Katherine Hopwood killed in pre-dawn crash on Monday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The young woman killed in a car crash in East Arlington on Christmas Eve is being remembered as cheerful and outgoing, and an aspiring teacher.

Katherine Hopwood, 22, was killed in a single-car crash on Girvin Road about 5:30 a.m. Monday. Police say she drifted off one side of the road, over-corrected ended up off the other side of the road and her car hit a tree.

Police said the impact was so powerful it threw her into the passenger seat even though she was wearing a seat belt.

Hopwood, had moved to Jacksonville about a year ago after graduating from college in Rochester, N.Y.

"She was so looking forward to her life, from this point on," said Robert McCray, youth minister at Community Presbyterian Church. "You could tell that she was very attached to her family and her community and stuff."

McCray said Hopwood was an incredible musician and played keyboard in her church's band, "The Grateful Bread."

Hopwood worked as a barista at an Arlington Starbucks while waiting for her teaching certification.

Starbucks regular Phil Bavido, 83, said Hopwood knew his order by heart and always served it with a smile.

"Katie had the most wonderful smile, always cheerful, and everybody loved her," said Bavido.

"Their Christmases will never be the same," McCray said of the Hopwood family. "That's a tough image, a tough thing to accept."

A celebration of life service will be held for Hopwood at Community Presbyterian Church in Atlantic Beach at 2 p.m. Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry or the charity of your choice.

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