It’s a devastating loss for Michigan’s hockey community as two rising stars were killed along I-96.
Julianna Brown and Darian Locklear were both 16 years old.
They died when their car went off the highway Tuesday near Williamston Road, closing the highway for about 4 hours.
Family and friends are absolutely devastated, many too shaken up to talk. Those who did tell me both Julianna and Darian were the kind of young women that loved to smile and left a positive mark on the lives of those who knew them.
“Both of them were beautiful and just they loved the game of hockey,” says Meijer AAA U16 Hockey Coach Kurt Miller.
Darian and Julianna’s car went off westbound I-96, hit a tree and rolled while on the way to hockey practice in Lansing.
Their coach says they were both dedicated to the sport they loved.
“It’s a family and when this sort of thing happens, its a shock,” Miller says. “These girls were just, they always smiled, they were just - beautiful girls that didn’t deserve this.”
Both girls were high school juniors - Julianna at Howell, Darian at Brighton - many of their friendships - bonded on the ice.
“We met through hockey and we’ve been friends ever since,” says Darian’s friend, Sarah Beck. “She was one of the kindest people I have ever known and to lose someone like that is tragic. She was just, she was like, she was so funny. She always made everyone laugh she always put a smile on everyone’s face. Everyone loved her, she just - she just made everyone’s day brighter.”
Those warm days will be remembered with their teammates - while they try to push through the grief of their loss.
These girls were just, they always smiled, they were just beautiful girls that didn’t deserve this,” says Coach Miller. “I don’t know what I’m going to tell them, except that I’ll, I’m going to miss them. And we’ll have to share memories and just remember the good times.”
Coach Miller says the hardest part of all of this has been talking with the girls’ parents.
He’s heading back early from vacation. The team has practice tomorrow and grief counselors will be there.