Hundreds Mourn Teen’s Death at McLaurin HS - - Jackson, MS

Hundreds Mourn Teen’s Death at McLaurin HS


The Rankin County community is mourning the loss of a teen who was tragically killed in a car accident Tuesday night in Florence.

Olivia Rae Watkins, 17, was driving on Thomasville Road when she lost control and hit a tree. Investigators are still determining whether speed was a factor in the crash.

Wednesday night the McLaurin High School community held a prayer vigil in her honor. Hundreds attended the ceremony that allowed some of her friends and family grieve appropriately.

Many say that in her 17 years of life she made a huge impact.

"She could light up a room, said her friend Victoria Hollingsworth. "I mean she walk in and the whole tone will change. She was just, she was sweet."

 Many people agreed that Olivia was an outgoing spirit.

"Literally one of the sweetest people you could ever meet," said another friend, Brieann Feathers. "She had such a big inspiration on everyone and it didn't matter what she was going through, she would still smile."

At the candle light vigil, people prayed, cried and leaned on each other for support. Her family also attended.

"She always come up to me, hug me and give me a kiss and say mama I love you. "And she said papa I love you. We're going to miss her beautiful smile," said Barbara Ivy, Olivia's Grandmother.  "If you met her you weren't going to forget her and if you didn't know her, she was going to make sure you knew her. "She was just like her daddy."

Olivia was an animal lover who loved outdoors and meeting new people. She aspired to be a veterinarian.

 "Horses were her all time favorite passion," said Hollingsworth. "I mean, if it was warm and sunny, if it was pouring down raining, it didn't matter. That's what she was doing. She loved animals she loved to be around her friends hanging out. She played softball, she was just all around well rounded."  

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