Bridget Noel Chambers, 17, loved pigs, kept a duckling named Daisy as a pet, and purchased her first car only about two weeks ago.
Chambers died Friday night while driving that white 1996 Toyota Corolla with her twin brother, Steven, and two friends.
Terri Chambers said Monday that her daughter was happy to be 17, to have freedom, and to spend her time with friends.
"She just bought the car," Chambers said. "It was the car she had dreamed about. She was on Cloud 9. She loved that car more than anything in the world. She'd only had it for a week and a half. She was having so much fun driving around with friends."
Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Hartline said the teen was driving north on Highway 395 at 6 p.m. Friday when she was struck by a silver 2005 GMC SUV driven by 79-year-old Forrest Ladd of Minden.
The NHP reported that Ladd was southbound on Highway 395 when he attempted to turn left onto Stephanie Way in Douglas County. He turned in front of Chamber's Toyota, hitting the driver's side. She died while in route to Carson-Tahoe Hospital in Carson City.
Steven Chambers sustained moderately serious injuries. He was taken by CareFlight to Washoe Medical Center and will be released before his sister's funeral on Friday.
A young Gardnerville woman had minor injuries from the accident. The fourth occupant of the car, a young man from South Lake Tahoe, reported no injuries.
Citations are pending in the NHP investigation, Hartline said. Ladd was traveling at about 5 to 10 mph when he hit Chambers, who was driving about 65 mph.
"He failed to yield the right-of-way," Hartline said. "Either he misjudged the vehicle's speed, or he didn't see it coming."
The Chamberses moved to Gardnerville in January 2002 from Tujunga, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles.
"The thing about Bridget is she was always, in every group, in every situation, the most loving and vivacious and caring person," her mother said.
"And Bridget was funny. All her friends would tell you that she's just funny. She loved to make her friends laugh."
Steven fractured several ribs in the accident and has a broken clavicle and injuries to his spleen. Chambers said her son will be released today or Wednesday.
Bridget is also survived by her father, Richard; sister, Jamie; and older brother, Jeff.
Chambers, who works for the state insurance division in Carson City, said she learned about the accident soon after it happened from one of the teens in the car. The teen used Bridget's cell phone to tell Chambers that Steven had been transported by CareFlight and that the ambulance had taken Bridget away.
"We'll miss her more than anything you can imagine," Chambers said.
Chambers would've been a junior at Douglas High School.
"She wanted to be a nurse," her mother said. "She has a way with people, making them feel better."
The funeral service will be 10 a.m. Friday at St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.
Signal not forthcoming
Will there ever be a light at Stephanie Way and Highway 395?
Fred Droes, Nevada Department of Transportation chief safety/traffic engineer, said he isn't aware of any plans to put a light at that intersection.
"It would have to meet signal warrants for a light to be put there," he said Monday.
Signal warrants are based on the traffic count at the intersection. The number of crashes are also important. Droes said the crashes would have to be correctable by the installation of a light.
"There has to be at least five correctable crashes over a 12-month period," he said. "A left-turn type of crash could be considered a correctable crash."