Daia Drummond's step-father described Daia as a beautiful girl who had her whole life in front of her. The senior was about to graduate from Ocean Springs High. And in the fall, she planned on enrolling at a college in San Diego.
But those plans and dreams ended on a stormy night in Jackson County. Her car slid onto the wrong side of Tucker Road. The driver's side got crushed by an oncoming van.
Early the next morning, Katie Krebs got the disturbing news. Her best friend was dead.
"I couldn't even absorb it. I was in shock," Krebs said. "I didn't know what to say. I was so upset."
The mangled Ford Taurus sits behind a Tucker Road garage, less than a mile from the accident scene. Krebs doesn't want to remember Daia Drummond dying that way. Instead, she'll think about the good times. "We were like attached at the hip. And we always hung out together," she said.
Krebs showed off some pictures to prove that point. The pictures were taken over Thanksgiving, while they visited another friend in New York.
Basically, Drummond and Krebs were always together. They worked at the same Ocean Springs restaurant. And they attended Ocean Springs High School. They were so close, Krebs wrote a characterization paper about her best friend. Drummond's sudden death made it an emotional day at the high school.
"Everyone is just giving me hugs and saying it's okay," Krebs said. "Everyone is just saying how sorry they are it happened. And it shouldn't happen to her."
The hugs and tears at school were also seen at the restaurant where Drummond worked. She was taking a co-worker home late Saturday night, when the rain caused her deadly accident.
Neal Miller owns Al Fresco. He said it's been difficult for employees to concentrate on their jobs. "It's very hard. She was very young, a very vivacious girl, very creative and outgoing. And when it strikes this close, it's very difficult for everybody."
It was especially difficult for Katie Krebs. On Saturday night, she left work before Daia Drummond did. And she didn't say good-bye, because she expected to see her best friend again.
"I wish I could have just given her a hug or something," she said. "We would be in the car sometimes and I would just look at her and say I love you so much. And I'm glad we're friends. And I don't know what I would do without you."
Visitation for Daia Drummond is Wednesday. Her funeral is Thursday at Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home in Ocean Springs.
by Brad Kessie
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