Friends of Anna Hawkins gathered the evening of June 13 on Couch Road in Dawson County to remember her. Hawkins died in a car accident on June 10. She was a star soccer player at Dawson County High School. "She was the best of the best," said DCHS Head Coach Jed Lacey.
Hundreds of friends, classmates, teachers and family attended services Thursday and Friday for a 16-year-old Dawson County High soccer player, Anna Hawkins, who was killed Monday, June 10.
On Thursday, more than 350 people attended a standing-room-only memorial service at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Dawson County. At the family's request, the service was a celebration of Hawkins' life and included two DCHS singers, Rhys Adams and Riley Westbrook.
On Friday, hundreds more attended the funeral and graveside service for the star soccer player who once said she wanted to be a writer.
Authorities believe Anna Hawkins was sitting or standing on the roof of a 2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara when the driver lost control.
"The vehicle was traveling south on Couch Road and the preliminary report indicates Miss Hawkins was 'car surfing,'" said Georgia State Patrol Senior Trooper Mark Cox. "The vehicle entered a right-hand curve too fast and the driver lost control. The vehicle traveled across the northbound lane along the shoulder, hit an embankment, then came back into the roadway, throwing Miss Hawkins off the roof. She hit the pavement and sustained substantial head injuries."
The dangerous practice of car surfing has been popularized in movies and online videos, including some videos posted two years ago showing "surfers" being seriously injured.
According to Cox, Hawkins died at the scene, but was transported to Northside Hospital-Forsyth.
No signs of drugs or alcohol were found at the scene, Cox said.
Charges are pending against a 16-year-old Cumming girl who was driving the car. She was not seriously injured, Cox said. Blood and urine samples were taken after the accident.
"She hadn't had her license very long, and it's still under investigation," Cox said. "But the law states you have to have six months' experience before you can transport anyone besides family."
According to Cox, members of the GSP's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team are involved. They will do an incident report, then turn the investigation over the Dawson County district attorney.
"I've heard of car surfing and have seen it in the movies," Cox said, "but in my 18 years of law enforcement, I've never seen anything like this."
According to Cox, a witness who lives near the scene of the accident has been interviewed.
Brian Gee said he saw the vehicle before the crash, and no one was on top of the car, according to Cox. "He agreed the car was traveling at a high rate of speed,” Cox said, “but we don't think he would have been able to see on top as fast as it was traveling and with it being dark."
The accident occurred at approximately 9:45 p.m.
Gee did not contact investigators after the accident occurred, authorities said.
"I didn't know about him until after I saw an interview with him on TV," Cox said. "Then, we got his name and info and tracked him down.
"There is no physical evidence to back up the claims he's made about a door flying open and her falling out. It just doesn't match up," Cox stated.
"I'm confident she was outside the vehicle."
Nancy Hawkins, Anna's mother, said she wants to know all the facts.
"All we want to do is stop all of these stories about her car surfing until we know for sure what really happened," Hawkins said Monday evening, one week after the accident.
Anna's older sister, Kati Hawkins agrees.
"I wish if anyone else saw this, they would come forward," she said. "All we want to know is what happened. I'm sick of hearing my sister is stupid and she died from it — because she wasn't. All we want is some peace."
Hawkins received Dawson County High School's soccer MVP "Golden Boot" last season, according to Head Coach Jed Lacey.
"She's the greatest kid I've ever coached in my life," Lacey said. "She was the heart and soul of our soccer team. She always had a smile on her face. You'd be proud to have her as your daughter. This is a real shocker. I'm in serious pain."
Lacey named Hawkins team captain last season.
"She was the best of the best," he added.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Mark Cox asked that anyone with information relevant to the Hawkins case contact him at 770-205-5400.
"Even a small detail could blow the case wide open,” he said, “and people don't have to give us their name when they call if they don't want to."