DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Family and friends are left trying to cope after a 16-year-old died in a crash in Davidson County.
Upcoming West Davidson High School junior Hailey Wallace died in the crash on Holloway Church Road Monday night.
Troopers say if she would have buckled up, it could have saved her life. They also said speed likely played a role in this crash.
The news of Hailey's death was heartbreaking for Makenzie Gordon and Codi Parrish. Makenzie and Codi were best friends with Hailey.
"I'll never know anyone that was as special and outgoing as she was," Makenzie said.
Her friends say Hailey just got her license in May.
"She was so excited to get her license. That's seriously all she would talk about like a month before she got it, so she could go to Walmart and Taco Bell without having to ask her dad," Makenzie said.
Highway Patrol troopers said speed likely caused Hailey to lose control of her SUV hit a ditch and then a tree before overturning. What made matters worse, troopers say she wasn't wearing a seat belt.
"She always wore her seat belt, that's why I don't understand. We would go down the road and she would fuss at me if I wasn't wearing my seat belt," Hailey's friend said.
North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Ned Moultrie says they try to stress safety to every teenager hitting the road, but a lot of it comes down to experience.
"The thought pattern of being young, you think you're going to live forever. But like I say, operating that vehicle is a serious piece of machinery that deserves total respect," Moultrie said.
But this is a sad reminder for all, to follow the speed limit -- and buckle up.
"I for sure won't take anything for granted. I'll hold my family and friends close. And make sure to go the speed limit and always wear my seat belt," Makenzie said.
Troopers want to encourage everyone on the road to try and be safer. This is the sixth deadly crash in Davidson County this month.