Prayers, tears and broken hearts. Several dozen friends and family members of 17-year-old Brittanie Johnson gathered outside her mother’s southwest Houston home for a vigil in her memory.
Johnson was one of three Houston teens killed in a car accident in Corpus Christi Sunday returning from a spring break trip to South Padre Island. For the former Bellaire High School student’s mother it was hard for reality to set in when she got the news about her daughter’s death.
“I couldn’t even believe it,” says her mother Traci Blount. “I just kept being in denial like she was going to call, she was going to call. It was real.”
Also killed in the crash were sisters 19-year-old Brianna Robinson and 17-year-old Jade Robinson. They died when the driver of their car, 18-year-old Shelby Coleman, lost control, distracted by the GPS on her cellphone according to investigators. Coleman, the only survivor of the crash, remains in critical condition in a hospital.
“I always said Brianna was an all American. She was truly gifted,” said Stacey Robinson, Jade and Brianna’s mother. “Any room [Jade] walked in, she commanded. She was a leader.”
Johnson, 18, and the driver, Shelby Coleman, 18, were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Johnson later died. Coleman, the sole survivor, is a senior at Lamar High School.
The group had been celebrating spring break on South Padre Island, officials said.
Sgt. Nathan Brandley of the Texas Department of Public Safety said on Monday that the use of a cellphone for GPS was a factor in the crash as the teens headed home from spring break. The tragedy comes just days before Distracted Driving Awareness month