Cheerleader dies, friend injured in car crash

June 4, 2010 3:32:33 AM PDT
The celebration that usually comes with the last day of school was overshadowed by grief after the death of a well-known high school cheerleader. She and another student were in a car crash at the intersection of Crosby Hoffman Road and Stroker Road.

The deadly crash has impacted this close-knit community.

The Crosby High School class of 2010 reached a milestone on Thursday night, but when the Cougars' class of 2012 gets to graduation day, they'll be missing one smiling face.

"They just dropped me off and five minutes later, it happened," student Brittany Rhineburger said.

Brittany's friend, 16-year-old Nicole Vestal, took her spot in the car that was struck at a Crosby intersection minutes later.

"I loved her. I'll miss her," said Brittany.

The good friends and cheer squad teammates spent their last day of school remembering Nicole.

"We all said a prayer, so now she's looking over Kayla," said Haley Dillard, another friend.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla Riordan was driving the car and was critically injured in the crash. Some say Stroker Road at FM 2100 needs more than a flashing light.

"Unfortunately, there's been quite a few accidents there," parent Dwight Cox said.

Cox's daughter, Nicole Cox, survived an accident there.

"It happened very quickly. I was just lucky my head didn't smash against the window," she said.

Nicole Vestal's friends were making big summer plans a couple of days ago.

"Her smile and her laugh just gets me," Rhineburger said.

But now there's emptiness from the lives she touched to the shoes she filled on the cheer squad.

Investigators say Riordan was at fault in the crash. They say the driver of the other car that was struck is also in critical condition.

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