Posted: Jun 20, 2013 5:20 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News
Updated: Jun 20, 2013 9:22 PM
A Santa Maria man is charged with vehicular manslaughter after Santa Maria High School graduate, Jade Marie Dodson, was killed in a five-car crash.
Police say Cristian Carbajal, 19, was driving southbound on Broadway when he ran a red light.
The accident happened at the intersection of McCoy and South Broadway Tuesday evening.
Jade was 18-years-old. She just graduated from Santa Maria High School a few weeks ago.
Teachers say she was a standout student and a star tennis player for the Lady Saints.
There's a memorial at that intersection that continues to grow as family and friends mourn the loss of Jade.
Her tennis team had a memorial scrimmage on Thursday to honor her love for the game.
"She was an all-around amazing girl. She laughed a lot, she cared a lot, and she loved a lot," said Monica Hernandez, Jade's doubles partner on the tennis team and best friend.
She says Jade had a personality everyone wanted to be around.
"She loved everybody. Whoever you were she would be your friend that day. We would make a new friend almost every day," said Hernandez.
On the court is where they connected the best, but now that she's gone, it's where Monica and the rest of the Lady Saints turn for comfort.
"She loved to play and I love to play. Playing helps me to get over what happened and cope with it," said Hernandez.
Jade's tennis coach says off the court, she was the jokester.
"She was lighthearted, had a huge smile, and was always giggling and laughing," said Ginny Barnett, Lady Saints tennis coach.
But at love-love, she was a fearless competitor.
"She had a huge serve. It was one that would frighten opponents and she had a big forehand," said Barnett.
They say she was a true teammate and a friend.
One this tennis team will never forget.
"I'll think about her and our times here," said Hernandez.
Police say drugs were a factor in this crash
Carbajal appeared in court Thursday in Santa Maria.
He was also charged with three counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury.
The 19-year-old driver of the vehicle Jade was riding in remains in critical condition. A 7-year-old passenger in that car was treated for a large cut on her head. She is expected to recover.
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