When Jana Hobbs’ Mitsubishi Eclipse was T-boned on U.S. 431, her brother rushed to her aide.
“I was just so scared,” Quintin Hobbs said. “She was stuck in the car and (EMS workers) were trying to get her out. They wouldn’t let me near her.”
Quintin said Jana was riding with her boyfriend near Uchee Hill Highway at about 8:15 a.m. She attempted to cross U.S. 431 when a pick-up T-boned her vehicle. The 16-year-old Russell County High School student was hurried to Midtown Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 8:59 a.m.
Both Jana’s boyfriend and the driver of the truck were injured during the crash. Their conditions were unknown as of Tuesday afternoon, Alabama State Patrol said.
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As word spread of the deadly accident, Quintin said several of Jana’s friends left their classes to lend support to family members. Tamara Towns, a classmate and close friend of Jana’s, was shell-shocked when she received news of her friend’s death.
“It was heart breaking to see her family,” Towns said. “You don’t find a lot of people like her. She was beautiful, she was brave, and she could be friends with anybody.”
Jana pursued challenging academic and extracurricular roles. She served as a manager for the Lady Warriors’ basketball team, worked at the Carmike Wynnsong 10 and recently landed an interview for a second job at a K-Mart in Opelika. Time spent not working was dedicated to her friends and family.
“She was a really sweet girl,” said Ashley Long, another Russell County High classmate and close friend. “If you asked for something she would give it to you.”
Jana’s plans after high school were still uncertain, Quintin said. At times, she hinted that she might pursue a law career at Florida State University.
“It hasn’t hit me as hard as it will hit me, I think,” Quintin said. “Not as hard as it will hit me at the funeral.”
Jana’s funeral has not been set, Quintin said. Towns said a memorial service at Russell County High School has been tentatively planned for March 27.
Jana is the second person Russell County High School has lost due to an accident on U.S. 431 during the academic year. On Aug. 28, 2013, 40-year-old teacher Wileatha Brown was killed when her 2008 Suzuki Forenza was pinned under an 18-wheeler. She was not wearing her seatbelt during the accident, according to earlier reports.
Investigators later determined that Brown pulled out in front of the 2005 International Tractor Trailer. She was in her first year as a science teacher at the school.