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16-year-old Brandenburg teen identified by family as victim in Meade County crash

Gracie Prater's parents and boyfriend all reflected on her legacy saying she was one you could consistently count on to turn your day around.

BRANDENBURG, Ky. — A family is mourning the loss of a 16-year-old they say was killed in a Friday evening crash in Meade County.

Gracie Prater's father Mike, mother Gena, and boyfriend JJ Gavin all reflected on her legacy saying she was one you could consistently count on to turn your day around.

Gavin said he was alerted on his phone from an app they had that allowed them to see each other’s locations. Saying the app alerted him that something was wrong.

"It sent me a text that Gracie's phone; it stopped in an instant," Gavin said.

He called around to people he knew at the restaurants near the scene and that's when they confirmed a wreck happened.

"I asked was there an accident there and they said yes," Gavin said.

Kentucky State Police said the accident happened near the 300 block of Bypass Road around 3:50 p.m.

According to their initial investigation, a 16-year-old driving a 1999 Chevy Silverado was trying to make a left-hand turn onto Bypass Road when they stuck a 2013 Ford Focus headed southbound.

Police said as a result the Ford Focus lost control, crossing the centerline into the northbound lanes. That’s when it was then struck by a Chevy pickup truck.

Gracie, who was a passenger in the front of the Ford Focus was pronounced dead at the scene. The 17-year-old driver was airlifted to UofL Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

"I just knew in my heart what happened, I just wanted to be there," Gena said.

"I've been crying since Friday afternoon, I didn't think I had any tears left," Mike said.

Her family says Gracie was someone that you wanted to know, love, keep close to you.

Credit: Courtesy of Mike Prater

"There's a lot of people that are dwelling right now," Gavin said.

"She was truly just an old soul and I believe this was not her first mission," Gena added..

Gracie was an only child and her parents said they truly felt like she was their angel.

"It took me six years to get her and I went through four miscarriages and I really feel like she was just sent to me, by the grace of God and the only way I can cope with this happening is that God knew what he was doing," Gena said.

Gracie's family says she taught them so much, saying that her love and guidance was always there for them when they needed.

"I'm overwhelmed with everything, I'm happy that she made an impact on people's lives I know she protected me a lot," Gena said.

In their loss, these parents cherish moments that are now gone.

"No one's promised tomorrow," Mike said.

Mike said Gracie was set to start a new job on Monday, saying they were looking forward to getting her some new supplies she needed.

Community members and small businesses across Brandenburg are now banning together to show their support for Gracie raising money for not only funeral expenses but also to donate to the choir that she was a part of and loved.

Click here for the GoFundMe.

Kentucky State Police said the investigation into the accident is ongoing.

► Contact reporter Ford Sanders at FSanders@whas11.com on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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