Three Houston teens heading back from Spring Break festivities in South Padre Island are dead in what has been characterized as a ‘distracted driving’ crash. The teen died in an accident after the Hyundai Elantra they were driving collided with an 18-wheeler when reportedly, the car’s driver, went to look at her GPS and veered into the path of the truck.
Brianna Robinson, 19, her sister Jade Robinson, 17, and Brittanie Johnson, 18, died after the 2 p.m. collision near Corpus Christi on U.S. 77, and the fourth passenger, Shelby Coleman, 18, was critically injured but stable, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“I keep waiting for the door to open, for them to come back to me,” Brianna and Jade’s mother Stacey Robinson said in a tearful interview with the TV station. “I will miss them. I will miss both of my daughters so much.”
DPS investigators are reviewing the collision, which did not injure the driver of the truck close to Robstown in Nueces County, officials told the Houston Chronicle. The three girls killed all attended Bellaire High School and the injured girl is a senior at Lamar High School, according to the Houston Independent School District.
“We extend our support and sympathy to the families and friends of these students, as well as to both school communities and the district, as a whole,” Houston ISD officials said in a statement Monday, the district’s first day back from spring break. “Counselors are at Bellaire and Lamar today to provide support to students and staff.”
It wasn’t immediately clear who was driving the car Sunday afternoon and DPS officials didn’t immediately respond Monday afternoon to a request for more information. Distracted driving is the No. 1 killer of American teens, according to DPS, and the agency requires all teen driver’s license applicants to take a new course about the danger.
The younger Robinson sister, Jade, starred as varsity captain of the Bellaire Cardinals’ volleyball team, whose deepest state tournament run in school history this past year drew a top 20 statewide ranking, according to the team’s website. She was set to play next year for Tennessee Wesleyan College.
“While Jade had a major impact on the volleyball court; she was a positive force and role model off the court,” the volleyball team said in a statement. “She protected, encouraged and supported younger girls and inspired confidence in themselves to be the very best person they could be. Jade touched so many and we are all saddened by this tragedy.”
The Houston Juniors Volleyball Club, where she played several seasons, starteda GoFundMe page to support the Robinson family. The page had raised almost $22,000 Monday afternoon as the community mourned the three girls left dead.