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Tragic Twist of Fate: Teen’s Fatal Crash Shatters Promising Future

Teen's Fatal Crash Shatters Promising Future

Late last week, a 17-year-old girl from Murrieta was killed in a car accident while returning from her boyfriend’s graduation. The California Highway Patrol reports that the collision happened at 9 p.m. on Thursday in an unincorporated part of Riverside County at the intersection of Winchester and Keller roads.

Apparently, a 30-year-old man driving a GMC Sierra sideswiped an 18-year-old man driving a Nissan Titan with two teenage females in the back. The CHP reports that the impact was so severe that the Sierra flipped over. Giovanna “Gia” Rizzo, the Titan’s front-seat passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The driver and another passenger were taken by helicopter to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The Sierra’s driver suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital. While the exact cause of the incident is still unknown, CHP Officer Mike Lassig stated that preliminary data suggested the Sierra driver may have disregarded a red light.

However, police have not yet made any arrests. According to a GoFundMe page set up for the young driver, he was on his way home from the Vista Murrieta High School graduation with his sister and girlfriend when the accident occurred.

The below tweet verifies the news:

While Landis Hooper, the driver’s sister, remains hospitalized with a severe brain injury, Gavin Hooper received scratches, bruising, and a shattered hand.

“She is in a coma with pain management and in the care of neurological surgeons who are testing her daily for neurological progress,” the fundraising page reads. “The status is not day by day with an injury of this size – it is hour by hour.”

Rizzo, a senior at Liberty High School in Winchester, is remembered in a second GoFundMe campaign as a bright, kind young woman with a bright future ahead of her in the field of social work.

Here’s a selection of resources we encourage you to explore:

“Gia was many amazing things including but not limited to sweet, funny, fiercely loyal, ‘wicked smaht,’ athletic, intelligent, loving, and she had a bright future,” the page read. Rizzo volunteered at Kids Court and Counseling Center while working on a case involving child abuse; the center will receive the proceeds from the website to “ensure her legacy lives on.”

On Monday, the teen’s friends and family visited the crash site to add to the growing monument. Bailey Honaker, a close friend, told KTLA that Rizzo brightened up even the worst of days.

“She was someone I trusted with everything,” Honaker said. “Life is so unfair, and knowing that such a horrible thing can happen to such a beautiful and happy person just baffles me. It’s just so heartbreaking that she’s not here anymore.”

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