When Tiara Bryant-Geter was voted Dorman High School's prom queen Saturday night, the 18-year-old with a glowing smile and hopes of joining the military after graduation wasn't there to accept her crown.
She was killed the day before in a wreck on Interstate 26 in Spartanburg County that injured another teenager.
In the hours after her death, Bryant-Geter's grieving classmates launched a social media campaign to posthumously elect her prom queen, according to a post on the Spartanburg School District 6 Facebook page, which had more than 500 shares as of Sunday morning .
"This was completely student-led. What a thoughtful way to pay tribute to their classmate Tiara," reads the post, which includes a picture of a smiling Bryant-Geter and the caption: "DHS: Make Tiara Prom Queen."
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Bryant-Geter was driving a 2004 Kia east on I-26 near mile marker 27 when the vehicle went off the right side of the road and hit a tree just after 8 a.m. Friday, according to Trooper Joe Hovis of the S.C. Highway Patrol. She had to be extricated and was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 16-year-old passenger was injured and transported to Spartanburg Medical Center, Hovis said. Their condition was not available. Both teens were wearing seat belts, Hovis said.
At Dorman, Bryant-Geter was involved in the school's JROTC program, principal Ken Kiser said in a statement, according to WYFF.
"As a senior, her hard work earned her acceptance into college, but Tiara had aspirations to serve and protect others by joining the U.S. Air Force," Kiser said.
A friend of Bryant-Geter's, Ivori McJimpsey, told Fox Carolina that she had been looking forward to prom since her junior year.
"She just wanted to go to her senior prom," McJimpsey said. "That was the best thing for her. And I just wanted it for her."
Bryant-Geter would have graduated from Dorman on May 31, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.