by: Greg Suskin Updated:
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, S.C. - Aliscia Thomas, 16, known as "Ley Ley," had her goals laid out in front of her. She wanted to be a pediatrician.
"She was my heart. I'm truly going to miss her" said her stepfather, Dewayne Covington.
Thomas was killed Tuesday night in a car crash about a mile from her Pageland home.
She was a passenger in the Toyota driven by Elonte'a Meadows, 18. The two were headed home from a basketball game at Central High School, where Thomas was a junior.
Troopers said Meadows lost control of the car on Tory Road, south of Pageland. The car swerved off the left side of the road, Meadows over-corrected the wheel, and the car veered off the right side of the road and struck a tree.
Neither Meadows nor Thomas had a seat belt on, and she died at the scene.
Meadows was taken to Carolinas Medical Center- Union Hospital in Monroe and later released.
Outside Thomas' home on Wednesday, friends were dropping by, trying to comfort the family.
"Her mother is taking it very hard," said Thomas' aunt, Teresa McManus. "That was her oldest. She was supposed to graduate next year."
"We just have a lot of sympathy for the family and what they're going through, and our heart really goes out to them," said Ken Buck, public information officer for the Chesterfield County School System.
The school's principal, Judd Starling, told Channel 9 that the whole high school meets in the cafeteria every morning for breakfast. On Wednesday the entire school staff was waiting for the students to arrive. They shared the sad news with some of them, and comforted others.
Starling said he lost a student with a smile unlike any other -- a girl who was known for her happy face.
He said the funeral will be at Central High School on Sunday. It's one of the biggest buildings in town, and that's why Thomas will be honored in the school's auditorium.
Thomas had worked at the Bojangles in Pageland for about the last three months. Co-workers there told us they were broken up about what had happened, and remembered Thomas as a sweet girl.
Troopers have not charged Meadows, and they tell Channel 9 the accident is still under investigation. They have also not detailed any of the factors that might have contributed to the crash.
Family members said with the holidays fast approaching, they're leaning on their faith to carry them through.
"I know God is on our side. Just keep us in your prayers, that's all I can ask for," her stepfather said.