Voice of Victims: Jessica Percell

Submitted by Jessica’s mother, Susan Cannon

From the time Jessica was born she was such a joy. She had a beautiful smile and beautiful brown eyes. She had the best personality and sense of humor. Everyone who knew her loved to be around her. She was also the best sister to her brother Andrew, and sister Danielle. Danielle was inseparable with her sister and thought she hung the moon.

Jessica had big hopes and dreams for her future. She hadn’t quite figured out what her profession would be but she knew she wanted to go to college, get a good job, then get married and have children. She always said she wanted quite a few. She loved kids.

She did well in school and had lots of friends. She loved her family and friends and would do anything for any of them. I know that’s why she left her friend’s house the night of the crash. To make her friends happy.

Every day I wonder what she would’ve done with her life and how many grandchildren she would’ve given me. I know they would’ve been beautiful just like her. I wish I could call her and talk, or get together. I miss talking to her. Even when we didn’t agree on things she would still call me every day just to see how I was and tell me she loved me. What I wouldn’t give to hear her say that again. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my sweet girl. I miss her terribly. My family will never be the same without her in our lives.

My daughter was staying the night with her girlfriends. One of the girls called a boy to pick them up. She wanted to see him, she had a crush on him. She begged my daughter and the other girl to please go with her because she didn’t want to go by herself. The girls gave in and Will picked them up. Will never mentioned that he had been to a party and had been drinking already, he just offered to take the girls to a party if the girls wanted to go. They agreed but never made it there. On the way, Will saw his ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend. He turned his car around to chase her down. He wasn’t happy she was with someone else. He was speeding and swerving trying to catch up with her. My daughter and one of the other girls started screaming at him to slow down, or let them out – they were both crying. He told them they would be fine and refused to slow down. Then, Will’s cell phone rang. He looked down at the phone, then lost control of the truck. It hit a culvert and vaulted over a driveway causing it to roll, and eject all four passengers. My daughter was ejected out of the passenger window and was found 70 feet away from where the truck came to rest. Jessica was found unresponsive. She never regained consciousness. She had a lot of severe injuries. They instantly put her on life support.

Then, on June 17th, 2006 a week after the crash the doctor told her dad, me, and our families that Jessica was brain dead. They told us there was nothing else that could be done, and that we needed to take her off life support. I remember just crumbling onto a chair and crying. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Telling them to turn off the machine. She never took another breath she just quietly passed away. Will was charged with Manslaughter and served 6 years for my daughter’s death. I don’t feel that was long enough. He has been out now for 7 years and going on with his life. Something my daughter had taken from her by him.


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