(WMC-TV) – Courtney Sheffield's life ended early and in a matter of minutes. The 17-year-old would have been a high school senior next fall at Collierville High School.
"Her spirit was always great. She was always smiling," said Les Helton, Minister of Collierville First Baptist Church
Sheffield was killed in a crash with a large dump truck at the intersection of Raleigh-LaGrange and Collierville-Arlington roads just before 2 o'clock Wednesday.
Investigators said Sheffield pulled out in front of the truck which smashed her yellow jeep wrangler into a power pole. Sending live wires over both vehicles. Sheffield died at the scene.
"We never know why the lord does what he does when it happens," said Brad Jobe, who lives nearby.
Jobe heard the wreck, then his power went off as a power pole was knocked over on impact in the accident.
"When we heard that we knew what happened," said Jobe. "We just didn't know how bad it was."
This one was very bad, though once at the scene Jobe held out hope. As one of the first on the scene, he found Sheffield's sunglasses and thought he was going to just give them back to her, until he saw her.
The jeep was actually held together rather well that's why we didn't expect to find her in the state we did," Jobe said.
The driver of the dump truck told Jobe he tried to stop when he saw Sheffield's car.
"He showed me a spot on his hand where he had pulled his horn," Jobe said. "The imprints of the chain were still on his hand. He just kept saying he tried to miss her."
Now, Sheffield's church family is working to support the family she has left behind including her two older sisters.
"They were a very happy family, just smiles on their faces," said Helton, the family's minister. "I'm sure that's one thing helping carry them through this."
Courtney had a tire cover on the back of her Jeep that said "life is good". A motto her minister says she practiced everyday.