FRIENDSWOOD — A 16-year-old high school student was killed when her SUV crashed into a light pole Tuesday morning.
Brittany Lee Findley, a Friendswood High School sophomore, was driving east on FM 528 at Moore Road at about 9:50 a.m. when she lost control of the vehicle and it slammed into the utility poll, Friendswood Police Chief Bob Wieners said.
When a Friendswood officer arrived, the girl was trapped inside the Buick Rendezvous as it caught fire, police said. She was the only person in the vehicle.
That’s when the officer called for help.
Eventually, Friendswood fire crews and police were able to put out the fire and pull the girl from the SUV. She was rushed to Clear Lake Regional Medical Center where she died.
Wieners said speed was a factor in the crash and there was “no indication that it was anything other than an accident.”
Friendswood school district spokeswoman Karolyn Gephart said that counselors would be available at the high school campus for students who may be struggling with the news that a classmate had been killed.
Students and staff were taking the news hard, Gephart said. Many were meeting at the high school Tuesday afternoon, she said.
Findley was a former member of the Friends-wood High School junior varsity softball team and had recently turned her attention to weightlifting, Athletic Director Robert Koopmann said.
“She was a great kid,” her former coach and Algebra teacher Kevin Parr said. “She was someone we were looking forward to her future.
“She had a good personality and was fun to be around.”
While Findley, who was a catcher for the Lady Mustangs’ JV team, initially decided to skip playing this year, Parr said right before Christmas she suggested she might be interested in rejoining the team.
“It’s hitting (her former teammates) pretty hard,” Parr said.
Her loss was felt at Team Texas Weightlifting, a competitive weightlifting team in Webster.
“Team Texas lost one of its brightest stars today with the untimely death of Britney Findley,” read a statement from Findley’s coaches Jason Starks, David Cho and Thea Taylor that was posted on the team’s Facebook page with an image of Findley lifting during a competition. “We will miss her bright smile and ... sense of humor.
“Everyone in the gym loved her very much, and we are going to miss the opportunity to see her shine.”