Murrieta Mesa High students and staff are mourning a student who died in a crash on Sunday, April 17.
Sharmaine Legaspi, 17, died when she lost control of the sedan she was driving and struck a light pole on Murrieta Hot Springs Road at about 10:50 pm, the Murrieta Police Department said. A 19-year-old passenger was injured and was expected to recover.
“Words cannot express how heavy we are feeling as a school community,” Murrieta Mesa principal Scott Richards Jr. wrote in a message to parents and students.
Richards encouraged people to reach out to friends who were struggling with the news or to seek help from counselors if they were grieving themselves.
“As a school community, we must continue to embrace one another with compassion, empathy and understanding,” Richards said.
Posts on Legaspi’s Facebook page show her participating in beauty pageants and remarking on the thrills and confidence she received from wearing designer outfits. She had been a contestant in the Miss Philippines USA pageant, the organization said in a Facebook post.
“You are well-loved by so many, you will be missed,” the post said.
In March, Legaspi posted about her work at Chuck E. Cheese in Escondido.
“I am so grateful for all the people in my CEC career who I’ve met. They’ve inspired me to keep pushing myself and to take the time to smile every day and show kindness to every person no matter how hard the day is,” she wrote.