High school senior killed in traffic wreck during severe storms

MAGNOLIA, Texas -- A senior at Magnolia High School was killed in a traffic accident as severe storms tore through the area Tuesday morning.

The accident happened on FM 149 at Mitchell. According to Texas DPS, Darian K. Eckhardt, 18, was on her way to school when her 2008 Mercury crossed into oncoming traffic and struck an 18-wheeler.

Eckhardt, one of five children and the daughter of a local doctor, was popular at her school. She loved the arts. After school she attended classes and taught at the School of Rock in The Woodlands. The staff there tells ABC13 she was a wonderful person.

Her father spoke with Eyewitness News saying she would've wanted her to share the message of her life -- one of love and joy.

"She sang all around the house," said Dr. Donny Eckhardt. "If she was singing, you didn't know if the radio was on, it was Adele or if it was Darian. I thought Darian was better. She was better looking too."

Darian was known around Magnolia for her big voice and even bigger personality. You can see it in every picture she took.

"Darian was for love. That's all she cared about: caring for other people," Donny said. "There was never a mean bone in her body."

DPS tells Eyewitness News speed and road conditions were factors in the accident. According to officials, she was driving too fast on the wet road and lost control.

Her parents were tracking her drive on the Life360 app and knew something bad had happened.

"My ex-wife had just checked to see if she'd made it to school and noticed she hadn't and was in a certain location for a period of time, tried to call and couldn't get hold of her and she noticed the red around it and immediately went to the scene," Donny said.

"Everyone is taking it really hard. Everyone knew Darian," said Mike Raymond. "Everyone knew the kind of girl she was. They're all hurting a lot right now."

Raymond knew Darian for over a year.

"She was almost like a blast from the 60s, if you ask me," he said. "That was something that really set her apart. That was something I really enjoyed about her and I'm really going to miss."

"Every life is a blessing. Enjoy every minute you have. You may not have your children. Be sure you kiss them when they leave in the morning. I never dreamed this would happen," added her father.

Her family is planning a memorial for her Friday afternoon.

Magnolia ISD issued the following statement:

"Our administration is working with the family during this difficult time. Magnolia ISD is providing additional counselors to support our students and staff through the grief process."
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