UNION COUNTY, N.C.-- A local high school mourned the loss of one of its students Saturday morning.
N.C. Highway Patrol said 16-year-old Rachel Lucenius died after the vehicle she was in crashed off of Cox Road in Union County. The single-vehicle accident happened Friday around 3:15 p.m., according to state troopers.
Scotti Youngman was Lucenius' ninth grade teacher at Weddington High School. She remembered chatting with Lucenius in the school hallways Friday morning.
"There's no words for how everybody here is feeling," Youngman said. "She was just really sweet. She always had this adorable little smile."
Youngman said she's trying to focus on happier memories as she looks to the future.
"I remember her like sitting and giggling with her friends in my ninth-grade class," Youngman said. "That's the picture of her that I'm going to try to keep in my mind."
Besides Lucenius' teachers and classmates, students who didn't know her, including Chase Smith and Adam Francischiell who go to Weddington's rival high school, came by with flowers.
"Even though it's a rivalry school, we still wanted to show that as a community, we care," Francischiell said.
Many students told NBC Charlotte they will wear black in Lucenius' honor on Tuesday.
Lucenius and two other teens were in the vehicle at the time of the accident. North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
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