Students, teachers and staff members at El Camino Fundamental High School are mourning the loss of freshman Haylie Elizabeth Jordan, who died Sunday afternoon in a crash on the Capital City Freeway in Sacramento.
The 15-year-old Sacramento girl died when a pickup slammed into the car in which she was riding.
Kim Minugh, a spokeswoman for the San Juan Unified School District, said Jordan was described by teachers and the school principal as “exceptionally helpful, sweet and full of life.”
She was a member of the school’s dance team and had recently taken up beekeeping.
Minugh said extra grief counselors were on campus Monday for anyone who needed someone to talk to.
Kara Ricks, the school’s varsity dance team coach, described Jordan as “an incredibly sweet person, who made everyone feel very comfortable and loved.”
Ricks said Jordan joined the dance team, which performs at football and basketball games and school rallies, in September. By November, she had been selected to be on two of the team’s three competition squads.
“She was extremely talented,” Ricks said. “She never put up barriers for herself. … She approached everything with kind of wide eyes.”
Ricks said Jordan had a passion for hip-hop dance. Her final performance this season was in February, when she competed in her favorite division.
The chain-reaction crash in which Jordan died occurred about 4 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the freeway just north of the H Street onramp, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Officers said a big-rig driver, Wayne Dahlin, 60, of Sonora, noticed vehicles braking in front of him, so he applied his brakes. The driver of the car in which Jordan was riding, directly behind the big rig, also braked.
The CHP report identified the driver of the car carrying Jordan as a man named Brad Davis. Jordan’s mother, Jamie Davis, was a passenger.
A CHP press release noted that Patrick Montgomery, 60, of Sacramento, the driver of a pickup behind the car in which Jordan was riding, also applied his brakes. However, according to the CHP, Montgomery was not able to stop because of unsafe speed.
The pickup crashed into the car, pushing it into the big rig. The teen, who was riding in the back seat, suffered major injuries and died at the scene.
The drivers of the pickup and the car suffered minor injuries. Another passenger in the car complained of pain.
The pickup and the car received major damage. The rear of the big-rig trailer sustained minor damage.
CHP spokesman Officer Michael Bradley said Monday that the crash remains under investigation, and no one has been cited or arrested.
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.