ARLINGTON, Texas - Arlington Lamar High School is in mourning after two students and a parent were killed in a car crash.
Faith Whittaker and Jessica Brown were in a Jeep Renegade being driven by Faith's mother Monday morning near Tyler.
DPS says the Jeep drifted into a semi-trailer that was parked legally on the side of I-20. The two 16-year-old girls and the mother were all killed in the wreck.
Faith and Jessica were student athletic trainers for Lamar High School who volunteered for Bryant Grice.
“Kids who get involved in athletic training care about people and want to help. They have selfless hearts,” Grice said.
Faith's mother, 36-year-old Chelsey Brewer, was the driver who also died in the crash.
Faith and her mother were from Alabama. Lamar's basketball coach Jarrett Howell believes the two were returning from an out-of-state trip to get back in time for school.
“They were two wonderful young ladies. Bright spirits,” Howell said. “Faith was like the mother of all the managers. Motherly figure around everyone. Sweet. Protective. Well-liked by everyone. Beautiful soul. Jessica was the free spirit. Extremely happy. Always a smile on her face.”
In addition to being student athletic trainers, Faith played softball and Jessica was in a culinary arts program. Students are taking it hard.
“They are either in shock, don't believe it or not taking it well,” Howell said. “One basketball player in tears held his hands out. He said, ‘Coach, I need a hug.’ He didn't believe it.”
Student athletic trainers are often interested in careers in physical therapy. Howell says they were hard working and focused.
“The light behind that is they had such a big positive impact on our student body,” Howell said. “That is what we should celebrate and carry forward and honor their lives.”
The school has grief counselors available to help students.
DPS says the driver of the big rig the Jeep struck was not injured. The crash is still under investigation.