Two college students are working through the recovery process following a deadly accident that occurred early Saturday in Saucier.
Jennifer Stapel, 18, was driving herself and her friend Brianna Medina, 19, back to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Perkinston campus after a movie in Gulfport.
That's the last thing Stapel remembers.
"I don't remember anything about the accident and I kind of like it that way," she said. "I didn't think anything like this would happen to me. I'm thankful that I'm not dead."
Stapel did not have life-threatening injuries, but Medina is in critical condition and is sedated, her sister Ashley said. Elaina Skinner, 23, driver of the other vehicle, died.
Stapel, of Gulfport, and Medina, of Ocean Springs, were taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport.
Medina suffered a lacerated diaphragm; fractured cheek bone; broken ankle, leg and knee; damage to her spleen and appendix requiring their removal; and she has no feeling in her legs from a broken spine, Ashley Medina said.
She has had four surgeries, including a six-hour spine and leg surgery Thursday.
"I hope she gets to come home soon," said Stapel, who home soon," said Stapel, who suffered a broken ankle and was released Wednesday.
Medina's road to recovery will be long, and the family is asking for prayers as they take it one day at a time.
Stapel and Medina are on the MGCCC soccer team and assistant coach Neil Scott said the school has banded together since the crash.
"There's a big influx of students and teammates visiting every day and sending social media updates," he said. "They're great girls and great athletes."
In an effort to help with the Medina family's medical costs and missed work time, Medina's sisters Ashley and Jamile created an online fundraiser. Their goal was to raise $10,000, but in just four days more than $17,000 has been raised.
"We didn't expect anything like what we're getting now," Ashley Medina said.
Kerri Lane Hesselrode said her family has known the Medinas for a long time, and they wanted to help out.
"Our families were involved in multiple activities together including sports, theater and school functions," she said. "We wanted to donate as a family to help them any way we can. They are a wonderful family who gives and gives and now we can all help them in their time of need."
More fundraisers have been planned for Medina in Jackson County. On April 26, the Gulf Coast United Soccer Club and Ocean Springs High School will hold a benefit soccer tournament called Boot Up for Bri. Ocean Springs groups and businesses are planning other fundraisers.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Jason Gazzo said an investigation continues into the accident.
About 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Skinner was driving south in the northbound lane of U.S. 49 in Saucier when her Honda Civic collided head-on with the Kia Rio that Stapel was driving. Skinner, 23, died at the scene.
Skinner was married last year. She had earned a degree in tourism management from the University of Southern Mississippi and worked in customer service at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.
To donate to Brianna Medina's family, visit gofundme.com/6ramgs