Senior skip day at a Henry County private school turned tragic Monday when an 18-year-old student headed to the mall was killed in a single-vehicle accident in nearby Clayton County.
Makayla Penn of McDonough was a passenger in a Mini Cooper driven by her Community Christian School classmate, Cristina Pavon-Baker, 17, of Jonesboro, the Georgia State Patrol confirmed.
Pavon-Baker was seriously injured in the crash, which occurred about 11:40 a.m. on I-75 North at the Jonesboro Road exit, the GSP said. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.
"Our CCS family is heartbroken and saddened by a tragic car accident that occurred this morning involving two of our students,” Fred Banke, headmaster of the Stockbridge school, said in a statement. “We ask our community to pray with us and with our students as we grieve this devastating loss. We also ask for prayer for the recovery of our injured student and healing for our school family."
The vehicle, “traveling at a high rate of speed,” failed to navigate the turn on the exit ramp, went airborne, overturned several times and ended up hitting a tree, uprooting it in a wooded area, the GSP confirmed.
Penn had to be cut out of the badly damaged Mini Cooper, which was towed from the scene about 2 p.m.
“She’s going to be missed,” classmate Tyrik Wynn told Channel 2.
The two students at the Stockbridge school had plans to shop for spring break, the news station reported. Wynn said both were recently accepted to the University of Georgia.
A vigil for Penn is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Community Bible Church in Stockbridge.
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