CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A junior varsity cheerleader at North Mecklenburg High School was killed and a senior football player was injured in a vehicle collision in Huntersville Thursday.
The incident happened around 5 p.m. near the intersection of Beatties Ford Road and McCoy Road. Neighbors said they heard the sirens coming as rescue workers came to help the students.
Fourteen-year-old Enjoneah Reel was killed on impact, North Mecklenburg officials said. Quez McCollum, considered a college football prospect, was rushed to a local hospital and was in surgery Thursday night.
Reel's father, Anthony Reel, said his daughter died on impact from a broken neck. The father is still in shock, but said his daughter was "perfect."
"She brings joy wherever she goes," the father said.
Anthony Reel said his daughter was smart, athletic, and that people loved being around her. He said he couldn't believe the news he got Thursday.
"I didn't know what to do, what to say and when everything transpired. I am still absorbing this," the father said. "It's like it's not real, until I get to the funeral home and she is laying there and again I feel so helpless. There's nothing I can do. I can't fix it."
The father said he will bury his baby girl on Wednesday, which would have been her 15th birthday. He said they were planning a surprise trip to Six Flags in Atlanta, but now they are planning a funeral.
A GoFundMe page was set up for Reel by Friday afternoon. You can find it here.
Firefighters confirmed that two medical helicopters were called to the scene, but said they were canceled a short time later. Officials with Mecklenburg EMS said an off-duty EMS worker was behind one of the vehicles that crashed, and was able to give aid before emergency crews arrived.
Investigators have not said what may have led to the crash or if any charges are being filed. Huntersville Police said it could be weeks before the investigation is complete.
The police department said a car was traveling northbound along the stretch of roadway when it ran off the road. Another car was coming Southbound and the two cars collided on the passenger side.
Huntersville Police Department said they will look at how many other crashes happened on that road and make recommendations, if needed, to make the road safer.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) District sent a release about the tragedy Friday afternoon.
"This is Principal McInnis at North Mecklenburg High. Our school community is extending thoughts and condolences to the families and friends impacted by a recent accident involving two of our students. Thank you for respecting the families' privacy during this difficult time," the statement read.
The statement continued, "In honor of our students involved in this accident, the scheduled football scrimmage in Greensboro tonight will be played as planned. Thank you for your support of our students and their families at North Mecklenburg High School."