Why We’re Here: Samia Lucas

Samia Lucas was a beautiful girl with a promising future. She had just begun her freshman year at Austin Peay University in Clarksville, Tennessee, majoring in Occupational Therapy, and was set to start working part-time at a local restaurant. She loved to travel and had recently told her mother she was interested in a program to study abroad.

A typical teen, her favorite pasttime was hanging out with friends… and she had a lot of them! In fact, on October 23, 2016, she was out with good friend, Joshua Guillen Lopez to celebrate his 18th birthday. They were at the intersection of 101st Airborne Division Pkwy and Trenton Road in Clarksville with Samia driving, when a repeat drunk driver going 77mph with a .127 BAC ran a red light and struck them on the driver’s side. Joshua was killed instantly. Samia was Lifeflighted to Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville where she died a few hours later from her injuries.

Samia’s mom, Sherita Bussey, was at home when the doorbell rang with police at her door to tell her that her beautiful daughter had been in a wreck and taken to Vanderbilt hospital. She says it is all still surreal. “One moment you’re fine, and the next, you’re crying. You never know when it’s going to hit you.” She catches herself, two years later, accidentally calling for Samia around the house.

Sherita always told Samia to “surround yourself with good people and friends.” She says now it is evident that her daughter listened to her and took that advice to heart. She knew many of Samia’s friends before the crash, but has met many more since the crash that she didn’t know. They still call her, text her, and invite her to events showing Samia definitely chose good people who obviously cared a lot about Samia and her family and definitely miss Samia in their lives.

One of Samia’s friends had a 5-month-old daughter, Kiaja, that Samia absolutely adored – so much that she referred to her as her own “daughter” and babysat her frequently even keeping her overnight. After the crash, Kiaja’s mother named Samia’s parents as Godparents and Kiaja has become like a granddaughter to them. Sherita knows that Samia had one day wanted to become a mother with a family of her own, but now that can never happen.

“Samia is missed by so many people,” says Sherita. She had special bonds with all her siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles. She and her baby sister, Amauri, often fussed, but Samia was most definitely Amauri’s protector. “Her presence is still felt today. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and speak her name.” Sherita says she misses Samia’s goofiness, her smile, and her laughter. “She hated her laugh. But that’s one of the things I miss the most.”

Sherita adds, “I often wonder what she would be doing, how she would look, who would she be dating. It breaks my heart when I think of the woman she could have become had her life not been ended due to an irresponsible drunk driver. She will be FOREVER LOVED and FOREVER MISSED!!!”