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Local basketball star among victims of fiery crash in Avondale

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Updated: 4/22/2013 7:38 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local basketball star, Alicia Gladden, 27, was one of the victims of a horrific crash in Avondale on Friday night.

According to her brother, she was returning home from a basketball game with the team she coached at Creekside High School when her car was involved in a head-on collision.

Her home in Orange Park is filled with awards and recognitions for being one of the leading all-time scorers at Florida State University's women's basketball team.

"At Florida State, she broke records for steals, she holds records for steals in the season and steals overall," said David Gladden, her brother.

Witnesses say a gray Charger was going very fast on Roosevelt Boulevard and lost control at the intersection of Randall Street, hitting the basketball star on Friday night and killing both drivers.

Neighbors rushed out of their homes to help the people trapped in the cars. Cell phone video taken by a witness captured the Charger as it burst into flames.

One witness who ran out of his home to help realized he knew one of the victims. He remembers officiating Gladden's high school basketball games.

"She didn't do anything wrong and that part hurts me because I knew her," said Ray Reberio, witness.

Gladden's brother says his sister's untimely death has been hard on everyone in his family.

"It's one thing to lose a parent, but for a parent to lose a kid, it's that much harder," said Gladden.

Gladden says he will miss his sister's smile the most. He now hopes people will keep her memory alive.

"She was the type of person that when you were having a bad day, just being around her would make your day that much better," said Gladden.

According to St. Johns County school officials, grief counselors will be at Creekside High School on Monday to help students through the grieving process.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation. The driver of the other vehicle was identified as Sean R. Wieland of Jacksonville. Weiland's passenger was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
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