LAKE PLACID, Fla. - Two people are dead and a 17-year-old girl is fighting for her life in the hospital after a deadly crash in Highlands County. It happened early Saturday morning along State Road 70.
"We do have a very grieving community right now. This news hit really, really hard and close to home to so many," said Betsy Canevari, a friend to one of the victims.
Sunday, more than 500 community members held a vigil for the victims: 18-year-old Cope Brewer, who is a senior at Sebring High School and a bull rider, and 21-year-old Austin Edwards of Sebring. 17-year-old Lindsay Sapp remains in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital. Sapp is a junior at Lake Placid High School who Canevari said is an avid member of the 4H agricultural program.
"It's amazing to see the community coming together for this. We've contacted several of our local pastors, school administrators and everyone has said yes we will be there," Canevari said.
The four-car crash happened early Saturday morning on State Road 70. According to FHP, the pick-up carrying Edwards and Brewer traveled off the road and collided with a tree and a utility pole. A second and third vehicle then struck the truck, causing it to overturn. The fourth vehicle – a pick-up truck driven by Sapp – struck two of the vehicles and then overturned.
Canevari, who is a close friend to the Sapp family, says the family is staying strong and praying for Lindsay to make it through.
"They've been overwhelmed with the love and support from people texting and messaging and even all the messages on Facebook so I think they're drawing from that support," Canevari said.
According to Canevari, Lindsay underwent surgery Saturday and remains in critical condition. She suffered multiple injuries, including head trauma.
Canevari says the whole community has been rallying around the family.
"We are praying that she will come through this and really praying for a miracle," she added.