"Audrey was one of the most perfect people," the teen's best friend, Allie Lacole Dudley, said

By Nicholas Rice
June 11, 2021 01:22 PM
Audrey Cheves
Credit: Gainesville High School Band

The Gainesville, Florida, community is mourning the loss of an "amazing" high school senior.

On Saturday night, Audrey Cheves and her mother Melissa were driving home from picking the teen up after a work shift when they got into a car accident at the 1400 block of NW 39th Avenue, according to CBS 4, which cited the Gainesville Police Department.

Audrey and Melissa were both removed from their vehicle with the jaws of life by Gainesville Fire Rescue, The Gainesville Sun reported. Audrey, who turned 18 only days prior, was reportedly pronounced dead on the scene while her mother was taken to UF Health Shands Hospital.

No charges have been filed against the driver who hit the Cheves family's Toyota and an investigation is underway.

Police told CBS 4 that the individual - who has not been identified - "was driving at a high rate of speed."

He was also taken to Shands Hospital, where he remains in intensive care with head injuries, according to the police report, per The Gainesville Sun.

Speaking with The Gainesville Sun, Lisa Barrs, a family friend, told the outlet that Audrey was working at Rural King - a farm supply store - to save money for both college and her own car.

Before her death, the teen was accepted to attend Santa Fe College in the fall and planned to study marketing, the outlet said. She would have graduated from Gainesville High School in two weeks.

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Billy Cheves, Audrey's father and Melissa's husband, told The Gainesville Sun that his wife is not aware that their daughter died in the crash given her condition, but once she gets out of her coma, the family will tell her the tragic news and plan a memorial service for the teen.

A GoFundMe page has been set up in Audrey's honor, to help the family cover any bills that may come their way during the difficult time. As of Friday afternoon, the fundraiser had earned more than $18,000, moving past its initial goal of $5,000.

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Allie Lacole Dudley, Audrey's best friend, told The Gainesville Sun that in a little over two months, she would have celebrated 11 years of friendship with the teen.

"Audrey was one of the most perfect people," Dudley said. "She just loved to make everybody feel like they were loved. She never wanted anybody to be down."

Audrey's other peers, including many she met through her high school's band and color guard team, mourned her death as well.

"Audrey was a pure soul, and she made everyone around her happier," Ke'Arya Tendall told The Gainesville Sun.

Grace Ridgeway added, "Audrey was a kind and amazingly welcoming soul who had so much love to give."

According to a post from the GHS band page, Audrey - who was described as an "amazing young woman" - is survived by her mother and father, as well as her younger sister, Chloe.