Mother remembers daughter killed in prom night crash
LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WKRC) - Amanda Garcia wants people to know how much her daughter, Kaylie Jackson, loved her family and friends.
Garcia said it's hard to describe how she's felt over the last several weeks since Kaylie passed away.
"She was a smart girl, so smart," Garcia said. "Really I'm just trying to stay busy. Talking about Kaylie has helped actually, it's helped a lot."
Kaylie and her mother posed for photos before the the Monroe High School prom on April 27th. Garcia said she hugged her daughter, told her she loved her and to be careful.
"It wasn't but maybe 15 minutes I think until the calls came in for the accident since I left her," Garcia recalled.
Kaylie died three days after the accident on Miliken Road. The other students in the car survived including Kaylie's boyfriend. The driver of the car has been charged with vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.
Kaylie planned to go to Ohio State in the fall. She was in gifted classes from a young age and wanted to be a doctor.
"A lot of it came from her Papaw. He had a lot of health issues. She learned about that at a young age and took interest in it," Garcia said.
Kaylie's grandfather, Papaw Tony, had two kidney transplants which extended his life before he passed away when Kaylie was five. Her grandfather receiving kidney donations influenced Kaylie's decision to become an organ donor.
"It was an awful, tragic accident that shouldn't have happened but knowing that we were able to help her fulfill her wish in the end, it brings some peace to us," Garcia said.
Garcia hopes Kaylie's story encourages others to become organ donors. Kaylie's organ, eyes, skin and tissue donations helped more than 50 people. Garcia and her family can still hear Kaylie's heartbeat which is sewn on a bears she received from the Life Center.
"It's comforting. It's something that I'll always have of her," Garcia said.
Garcia and her family have other reminders of Kaylie - including bracelets marked with "You Are My Sunshine" which was Kaylie's favorite song growing up. Recently, Garcia wrote about Kaylie on a website to tell her story. She wrote "I want teenagers to know that they are not invincible. I want people to know that this can happen to any of us."She's also encouraging peopel to tell their loved ones they love them everyday.
"It's comforting that I was able to hug her and tell her I loved her," Garcia said.