ANTIOCH, Calif. (KTVU) - On Monday, grief counselors will be at several schools in Contra Costa County following a deadly car crash in Antioch. Two teenagers were killed and four other teens were injured when a car struck a tree on Lone Tree Way near Hillcrest on Friday night.
Family members were seen consoling one another destroyed over the loss of 13-year-old Jaia Lightner. The eighth grader was killed in a car crash. She and five of her friends had just left a basketball game at Deer Valley High School.
The 17-year-old driver, identified Monday by the Contra Costa County Coroner as Leana Rubin, was the other person who died in the crash.
“She had her whole life ahead of her and she is just a good little girl,” said Jaia’s Aunt Charnell McCoy-Carral. “Why this happened to her, we don’t know.”
Less than a mile away from the high school, there’s a large memorial filled with candles, flowers and teddy bears. Debris from the crash lay in the bushes. The driver lost control hitting a tree. KTVU obtained pictures from EastCountyToday.net that show the tragic aftermath.
“It was horrific,” said McCoy-Carral. “I had never seen anything like that in my life.”
“Such a beautiful soul has been senselessly lost because you are in a hurry,” said Jaia’s Aunt Karen Fuller.
Speed was a major factor. The roads were slick from the rain. Jaia’s family said Jaia wasn't wearing a seatbelt. She was ejected from the car. The other teens had to extricated.
“We’re all devastated by this,” said Delta Vista Middle School Principal Rusty Ehrlich.
Grief counselors will be at Delta Vista and three schools in the Antioch Unified School District. Afterschool activities and meetings have been cancelled to help them all grieve.
“For being in education as long as I have, 21 years you get a good feel,” said Erlich. “She had quite a bright future ahead of her.”
Jaia’s family hopes this tragedy will help children-learn a hard life lesson.
“If children are watching and teenagers are watching what I want them to understand, you have to obey the laws,” said McCoy-Carral. “You have to listen to what your parents are telling you because you believe you are invincible you're not.”
Jaia's family said two passengers are in critical condition at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. A candlelight vigil will be held Tuesday night near the crash site in memory of Jaia Lightner.