Remembering Janakae Sargent

Published: Nov. 18, 2006 at 3:09 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2014 at 6:09 AM CST
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Friends say Janakae Sargent wanted people to make the most of life.  Now, they hope to live their lives by her example.

The 20-year-old Texas Tech student died late Thursday afternoon, five days after a car slammed into her pickup.  Police say the driver of that car, 48-year-old Irma Padilla, was speeding down the Slaton Highway, when she ran a red light at Martin Luther King Boulevard.  Padilla died at the scene.

Sargent's mother says Janakae was a designated driver on the night of the accident.  It's something Sargent volunteered to do since high school.  Friends say that's just the type of person Janakae was.

"If a friend needed you, or her family needed her, that was where she was," Nickki Smith said.

Smith grew up with Janakae, and later they lived in the same dorm at Tech.

"We were best friends, and up until now, she's been the support in my life, and I miss her so much," Smith said.

"We used to play pranks all the time," Melissa Wooldridge said.  "On me," Chandelle Campbell added.  Campbell and Wooldridge did not meet Janakae until college, but, "We're never going to forget her," Campbell said.

"You raised a wonderful daughter," Smith said to Janakae's mother, Kandi Sargent.  The comments filled Kandi Sargent with pride and tears.

"First thought I had is that maybe she really was just an angel that God sent to me for just a little while," Kandi Sargent said.

She says a red light camera would not have prevented the accident, but she still supports there use, so do Janakae's friends.  "With just the families in general, these accidents, they do need to know. It answers a lot of unsolved questions," Campbell said.

It's a terrible loss for the family, but they sympathize with the Padilla family.  "Because they also lost her, and they're hurting, but an innocent life was taken that did nothing wrong," Kandi Sargent said.  "It maybe years, it maybe decades, but we will see her again," Smith said.

Friends and family held an impromptu memorial service on the Tech campus Friday.  The family is still finalizing funeral arrangements.

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