Family spending teen’s ‘remaining days’ by her side after crash

CHARLOTTE — Loved ones and friends are surrounding Ella Lukse, a 10th grade student at Providence High School, after she suffered life-threatening injuries in a south Charlotte crash.

Ella’s father told Channel 9 through text that his daughter was such a wonderful person and that they are spending the remaining days with her at Levine.

Speeding is believed to have led to the wreck, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

Investigators said two cars were involved in the crash, which happened just before 9 p.m. Sunday on Raintree Lane at Rounding Run Road. Officers found a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had flipped and a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta with serious damage.

MEDIC took two passengers from the Jeep and both people inside the Jetta to the hospital. The Jeep’s 17-year-old driver wasn’t hurt and stayed at the scene. A 15-year-old passenger in the Jetta was severely hurt, police said.

Detectives said they believe the Jeep was heading south on Raintree Lane when it hit the right side of the Jetta. Police said the impact of the crash caused the Jeep to flip and the Jetta to go off of the road, hitting a tree.

CMPD believes speeding led to the crash. The driver of the Jeep, while found not to be impaired, had alcohol before the crash, police said.

Officers arrested him and charged him with driving after consuming under 21 and reckless driving.

Police said more charges are likely as the investigation continues.

There was a steady stream of emotional classmates and their parents visiting a memorial set up at the crash site.

They shared a video with Channel 9′s Dan Matics of a fun moment with her they said sums up her personality.

“She really loved her boyfriend, she loved the idea of being a mom,” Katrina said. “She was athletic, she was smart, she was bubbly -- she lit up the room wherever she walked in.”

Reporter Jonathan Lowe spoke to another friend Lukse grew up with, Emily Walker.

“I remember she was always smiling and laughing,” Walker said. “I’ve grown up with her because I’ve known her since kindergarten.”

The area where the crash happened is a residential area next to a golf course. Matics could even see a blind spot.

Witnesses or anyone else with information about the crash are asked to call Det. Pressley at 704-432-2169, extension 2. Information can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or by clicking here.

Police said the charges against the 17-year-old could be upgraded.

Editor’s note: After earlier versions of this story were published, Ella Lukse’s family and friends shared that her injuries are serious. However, they remain by her side at the hospital and say they are sharing her “final days” together.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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