Posted at: 11/23/2013 12:13 PM
Updated at: 11/25/2013 10:07 AM
State Police say a 19-year-old Gates woman was killed when her vehicle was hit by another vehicle going the wrong way on Route 490.
Troopers say this crash happened around 2:50 a.m. on Route 490 near Ames Street. Investigators say that a vehicle driven by 30-year-old Robert Rector of Fairport was headed eastbound in the westbound lane on Route 490. According to court papers, a truck driver noticed the headlights of a car driving the wrong way on 490 and called 911. At one point, police say Rector's vehicle struck another vehicle driven by a 19-year-old Khadijah McKenzie. The impact of the crash caused the McKenzie's vehicle to roll over.
Rural/Metro ambulance took both drivers to Strong Memorial Hospital. Troopers say McKenzie was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Rector was treated at Strong and released into police custody.
Rector has been charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated. Troopers say the investigation is continuing and District Attorney Sandra Doorley was on scene.
News10NBC sat down with McKenzie's family Saturday to help paint a picture of who McKenzie was and learn more about the goals she set for herself.
Khadijah McKenzie had just called her family to say she was on her way home when a short while later they got the knock at the door.
“A detective came to the house and said my sister has been in an accident and that we should go to the hospital. When we went there about 20 minutes later, a doctor came out and said she was dead,” said Sapphire Lumley, McKenzie's sister.
It was news that shocked the entire family. McKenzie had posted a picture on Instagram just hours before she died. Her family brought News10NBC into her bedroom to get a better understanding of what she was like.
“Khadijah is very outgoing. She loves to cook, she loves art and literature,” said Lumley.
In her room were pieces of her artwork and her favorite literature, pasted in a collage. Her sisters described the teenager as strong and outgoing. They said she was the rock of the family, the one who held them all together.
“It's the holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving is very special to us and just knowing she is not here, her mother is in Jamaica. She is not able to come to a service that's going to affect our family. Khadijah would have to be shipped to Jamaica to be buried. That's a lot of expense on our family. His family will not have to pay for that. This is something our family has to struggle with,” said Tabitha Lumley, McKenzie's sister.
There is no struggle however with the feelings they have towards the man charged with killing their sister. The family says the driver was careless and inconsiderate and they will fight for justice to be served.
“This is something our family has to struggle with, what happens to him besides he will be incarcerated while our family suffers. Why do we have to suffer for somebody who could have been more responsible,” said Lumley.
McKenzie attended Gates Chili High School and most recently had taken classes at a community college in Buffalo. She was scheduled to start a new job Saturday morning working for the post office.