HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Now that the word is getting out about the identity of the 19-year-old victim of a fatal wreck at the intersection of Highway 53 and Mastin Lake -- friends of Toniette Piccinich are reacting to the news.
"She had to babysit her cousin, but she never made it there," said one of Piccinich's friends Nonda Brooks. The girls grew up together -- and Brooks says she'll always remember the free-spirited friend who told her they were 'finally part of the real world' when they graduated.
"When I found out, the sky got really dark," said Brooks. "To say she'll be missed is an understatement because when I found out this morning I thought it was a joke."
Brooks says she takes comfort in knowing that her friend didn't suffer.
"All the memories we made together were racing through my mind nonstop ever since I found out," she said. "I know she's going to look after me."
Authorities say Piccinich was killed after 19-year-old Christopher Wayne Ross ran the light at a high speed and hit her vehicle. He is charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident.
WHNT News 19 spoke with the family of Christopher Ross on Sunday, who offers their sincere apologies to the Piccinich family. They also said they want to know who helped their underage son get alcohol.