by Kim Powell
BIG SPRING - 15-year-old Shelley Lopez lost her life over the weekend when the vehicle she was riding in lost control. The high school freshman grew up in Big Spring and made an impact on everyone she met. Her former teacher, Ann Casebeer, remembered teaching Lopez when she was just four years old.
"When she was a little girl, she was friendly, outgoing, energetic, happy all the time. From what I've seen from her growing up, she was still a beautiful, cute little girl, young woman now," Casebeer said.
That's the same picture friends painted on Facebook as the community learned more about the accident. One woman commented on our NewsWest 9 Facebook and said, "Shelley was a smart, sweet, happy girl. I will miss her dearly."
Another wrote, "RIP Shelley--you'll be missed."
Police say the vehicle was heading down East 4th Street when the driver fell asleep. The passenger then grabbed the wheel and that's when they lost control and began to rollover. None of them were wearing a seatbelt.
A total of four teens were in the vehicle and only Lopez was thrown from it. She was airlifted to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa where she later died from her injuries.
The accident happened just before 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning which many question if stricter curfew laws would have made a difference. Officials tell NewsWest 9, curfew for those under the age of 16 is midnight on Saturday's.
But regardless of how this tragedy happened or why, the tight-knit community of Big Spring is mourning the loss of someone who had their whole life ahead of them.