NAPLES — Students from Lely High and Golden Gate High schools on Monday mourned the deaths of two Collier County teens who died in a tragic crash Sunday.
Dehvohn Payne, 17, and Janelle Sansion, 16, died Sunday afternoon from injuries received in a rollover crash of a sport utility vehicle in the westbound lanes of Interstate 75’s Alligator Alley, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports.
The single-vehicle crash occurred at 1:53 p.m. near mile marker 63 in eastern Collier County. The right, rear tire on a 2000 Ford Explorer blew, causing the driver, Luvisca Payne, 47, of Naples, to lose control, crash into a guardrail and overturn the vehicle twice.
Dehvohn Payne and Sansion were passengers in the vehicle and were not wearing seat belts. They were ejected from the vehicle, which came to rest on the top of a concrete barrier wall on the interstate’s north shoulder, FHP reports.
Sansion died at the scene. Dehvohn Payne was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, where he was later pronounced dead.
Both Luvisca Payne and another passenger, Pamela Sansion, 41, were seriously injured in the crash and were transported NCH Downtown Naples Hospital. Both adults were wearing seat belts, FHP reports.
Dehvohn Payne was a Lely High School sophomore. Janelle Sansion was a junior at Golden Gate High School.
Teachers and students at both the schools grappled with the loss of the pupils and friends, but also tried to take away lessons.
During Monday’s lunch break at Golden Gate High, classmates of Janelle Sansion, many wearing black polo shirts, filed out of the entrance of the school and gathered around the school’s flag pole to remember their friend.
A few students talked about their memories of Janelle Sansion.
“She always put a smile on our faces whenever we met her,” one student recalled.
Other students tried to find lessons from the tragedy. They told each other to savor each moment; some called for all students to buckle their seat belts.
But most of the students stood silent and clumped together with their peers sobbing, holding hands and hugging.
Joe Consolino, the school’s junior class counselor, said the student-led meeting was for Janelle Sansion’s classmates to start to cope.
“It’s good for them to get together like this and start to lean on each other,” he said.
Lely High School began the day with a moment of silence to honor Dehvohn Payne.
Dehvohn Payne played on the Junior Varsity football squad.
Principal Ken Fairbanks said the team also took a few moments to remember their teammate before practice began. Former teacher Sue Cheney remembered him as a charming student.
“He had a huge heart, always wore a smile and was so genuine and approachable,” she wrote in an e-mail to the Daily News. “We’re at such a huge loss at Lely.”