Student dies in car crash

Two people, including a FAMU student, were killed and two others were injured in a car accident in Miami over spring break.

Jakeeba Wells, 19, was pronounced dead at the scene and an unidentified person could not be pulled from the car due to the intensity of the flames.

“At this time, alcohol and drugs are suspected, but there has been no official word,” said Detective Randy Rossman of the Miami-Dade police department “We are still investigating this case.”

The driver of the car, Reginald Harden, lost control of the car, hit a median and crashed into a tree. The car was in flames by the time Miami-Dade police officers had arrived.

Police assisted a few people who had started assisting the victims.

Harden and Ashley Thomas, 19, were rushed to the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Harden was in critical condition and Thomas was in surgery at press time.

Rossman said it could take four to six weeks to identify the individual and determine what caused the accident.

Students and faculty took time Monday to remember Wells, a sophomore agribusiness student from Miami who was a member of the Marching 100 and the symphonic band.

“We will mourn her death only for a season, but after that, then what?” asked Tracye Hines, a 21-year-old junior elementary education student from Miami. “Her life is a testimony. We should celebrate her life, and each other.”

Julian White, director of bands at FAMU, expressed both his support and sympathy for the families of the victims.

“This has a tremendous impact on the band because she was one of our own. But I also think this will have a tremendous impact outside of the band because the band has such an impact on the university,” White said.

Band officers and White met with SGA Monday evening to discuss travel preparations for students who want to attend Wells’ funeral.

“I’ve already spoken with SGA and President Gainous regarding this matter, and I am confident that we will have a charter bus,” White said.

Racon Konchella, 21, vice president of bands and a senior environmental science student from Belle Glades, Fla. said she would like to extend the trip invitation to those who were close to Wells, but were not necessarily apart of the band.

Pat Wells, Jakeeba’s mother, appreciates the moral support she has received from the university.

“The band members will be the pallbearers at the funeral, and they will play a selection at the service. Some of the SGA members will be speaking at the service as well,” Wells said.

“I’m glad to see that so many people loved her just as much as I did. This is why I sent my child to this university. We take care of our own.”