by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:GASTON COUNTY, N.C. —
School officials say they will have an empty seat at graduation to honor a Gaston County teenager killed in a car accident days after her eighteenth birthday.
A CRISIS team was on hand Monday at Highland School of Technology in Gastonia to help students grieving over the loss of 18-year-old Arielle Reid.
Friends told Channel 9 Reid was an honor student with an academic scholarship to NC State this fall.
"She had a very promising future in terms of her college selection and her plans for after graduation," said Principal Denise McLean.
Classmates described Reid as a social butterfly who was active in extracurricular activities and on a dentistry pathway at the magnet school.
"She was just a great person. Her smile would brighten up my day," said friend Briana Link.
Monday morning, the senior class met with administrators and signed a special yearbook for Reid's family.
"I did pray with my classmates for the strength and that we would be able to focus and still get through the day," said classmate Corinthia Friday.
Troopers said they suspect Reid was not wearing a seat belt when her father, Michael, lost control of his 2014 Mercedes-Benz sedan and ran off Lowland Dairy Road, flipping into a stand of trees.
Investigators said speed was a factor in the crash and said charges against Michael Reid could be pending.