17-year-old dance student killed in hit-and-run was known for 'energy and brilliant smile'
PITTSBURG, Calif. - Family and friends of a 17-year-old girl killed by a hit-and-run driver in Pittsburg this week want answers and changes.
The crash happened in front of Golden Gate Community School where Brooke Jeffrey attended 11th grade. There's a memorial for her by the intersection of Stoneman Avenue at Briarcliff Drive.
"She was that shoulder you can lean on," said Essence Hughes-Coleman as she gathered with other students at Melody's Dance Studio in Antioch as they grieved the loss of their friend and dance teammate.
"She's supposed to be here right now practicing with the other girls so this doesn't feel like this is actually what's happening," said Kayla Lane, a dance teacher and family friend.
Friends said Brooke left practice around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Less than an hour later, a driver struck the teen while she crossed the street and left the scene.
"It's inhumane. I have no words. I really don't," said Paula Jeffrey, Brooke's mother.
Jeffrey said she was at the school waiting for her daughter so they could do paperwork for an upcoming field trip to Washington D.C. She said Brooke was killed at a dangerous intersection where it's dark at night, drivers often speed and the traffic lights don't work.
"It's still surreal for me," said Jeffrey." At the end of the day, I do not want anybody else to fall victim to something that should have been taken care of by the city of Pittsburg. There's no reason why those lights don't work."
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Family and friends shared videos of Brooke and said they'll remember Brooke as a great dancer and a terrific cook.
She was known for her energy and brilliant smile.
"She had so much life to live. I just want whoever did this to please come forward," said Lane.
"I know it might have been an accident, but that's not a reason to flee and not be held accountable," said Jeffrey.
Friends released balloons in memory of Brooke in front of the dance studio where she had been a student for twelve years. Her mother plans to hold a vigil for her in front of Golden Gate Community High School 7 p.m. Saturday.
Police have not released any information about the suspect vehicle.
To help Brooke's family with expenses, a Gofundme has been set up in her name.
Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at Amber.Lee@Fox.com or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU, Instagram @AmberKTVU or Twitter @AmberKTVU