Memorial honors Ave Maria student athlete killed in Naples crash
On Wednesday, Emily Acosta, 20, a female student-athlete at Ave Maria University, was killed in a crash on Oil Well Road and Oil Well Grade Road in Naples.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, Acosta lost control of her vehicle before being rear-ended by a large tomato truck in the opposite lane. Acosta played on the university’s softball and women’s basketball team.
A memorial is set up in honor of Acosta at the crash site Thursday.
“She was just such a bright light to this whole school,” Sophomore Matias Carbone said. “Every time she smiled, she just made everyone else smile around her.”
“You could tell the shift of energy,” said Meghan Precord, a student-athlete at the university. “Everything is come and go. You’re always saying hi to people, and today was really dead.”
Student-athlete Kavion Dux is shocked by Acosta’s untimely death. He is used to a friendly hello on campus and did not realize it would be his last.
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” Dux said. “When you see someone that day and say hi to them. She gave me the usual ‘What’s up, kid.’ Hearing that from her just six hours before was just stunning.”
Acosta was driving with teammate Katie Houbolt, who went to the hospital after the crash and is now recovering with family. The truck driver was not injured.
CLARIFICATION: Acosta lost control of her vehicle before being rear-ended by another vehicle in the opposite lane.