Savannah Nash Killed During First Drive Solo, Unsent Text Message Investigated

Text Called 'A Probable Contributing Circumstance' to Crash by Police

A young girl who had just received her driver's license was killed as she was traveling to the grocery store to pick up food for her family.

Savannah Nash turned 16 last week and on Thursday received permission to take the car and drive to the store in Harrisonville, Mo., but the young girl never made it home.

Local reports indicate investigators believe Nash was trying to make a left-hand turn on the two-lane Highway 7, but she pulled out in front of a 2003 Freightliner semi-tractor trailer, who was unable to slowdown or avoid a collision. The semi-truck slammed into the driver's side, according to WAFB.

Investigators also found a cell phone with an unsent text message and are trying to determine if driver distraction played a role in the crash. The increase in driving while texting accidents has spurred educational outreach to young drivers, but it still a leading cause of traffic accidents.

"There was a text message that was on her phone, however it was not sent yet," Sgt. Bill Lowe of the Missouri State Highway Patrol told The Democrat-Missourian. "That is a probable contributing circumstance to the crash. That's all part of the investigation."

A family member of Nash's died at that same location years earlier, a relative of the family told KMBC.

"We will miss your beautiful smile, your laugh and your amazing attitude. You were always nice to me and brightened my day," a classmate posted on a Facebook page created in Savannah's honor. "All my love toward you and your family. See you someday."

A vigil for Nash was held Friday at Harrisonville High School, where she was a freshman, a repeat honor roll student and Future Farmers of America competitor, reported.