WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – She was courageous, a lover of life with a smile that could light up a room. A Kansas family is remembering their teenage daughter who died in a single-car crash on Sunday morning.
Diana Lopez, 17, was an aunt, a sister, a daughter and a friend to many.
“The most beautiful girl,” said Diana’s dad Efrian Lopez. “She would come out here and just say ‘Pappa’ and say things that will make you laugh like nobody else can.”
The Kansas Highway Patrol said Diana was riding in the passenger seat of a car on Sunday morning with the driver of the car lost control, hit a concrete barrier and overturned.
Diana was not wearing a seat belt and died at the hospital.
“To this day, to this moment I am still in disbelief about what happened,” Lopez said. “She wanted to be somebody. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen.”
Diana’s parents said their daughter always wore her seat belt, and they don’t understand why she wouldn’t have worn it on Sunday. The pair now has a strong message to share with others when they’re in the car.
“Please learn from this. Wear your seat belt because if she would have worn her seat belt, she would probably be with us still,” Lopez said. It only takes a split second and then it’s gone. Please make sure that you wear your seat belts. They do save lives.”
Valley Center Public Schools posted the following message on its Facebook page regarding Diana’s death.
We are deeply saddened to inform you that Diana Lopez, a junior enrolled at Valley Center High School, passed away earlier today due to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. Families are encouraged to have conversations to understand the emotions students may be experiencing during this difficult time. Additionally, please know we will have counseling services available at Valley Center High School for staff and students as needed throughout the coming days and weeks ahead. Please keep Diana’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Lopez told KSN Diana wanted to be a military police officer when she grew up. He said she volunteered at the Valley Center Police Department when she wasn’t busy with school plays and spending time with family and friends.
Tienda Martinez Dress Gallery & Western Wear has started a t-shirt fundraiser for the Lopez family. T-shirts are $20 and are available at the business.