Bradenton, Florida - Hundreds of people gathered at Woodland Community Church Friday night to celebrate the life of a teenager who was hurt in a van crash. Sierra Johnson died September 13th from her injuries. The teen was just about two months away from turning 18.
"I never knew that something hurt so bad, and like my wife said, I never knew I loved something so much until you lose her," said Sierra's father, Curt Johnson, as he spoke at the service.
The church was packed for the memorial, as people showed up wearing Sierra's favorite color, purple, and other bright colors to celebrate her "vibrant, loud, and spunky" personality. Some people even stood up against the back wall or sat on the floor when chairs ran out. The service featured videos and pictures of the teen, along with music, and speakers.
Family and friends said Sierra loved to sing, loved her family and friends, and loved church - where she was actively involved. She was described as the life of the party, and the peacemaker.
Sierra and six others were hurt when a tire blew on the van they were riding in. It rolled over along I-4 in Polk County September 8th, leaving Sierra with critical brain injuries. The group was part of a four-vehicle caravan from Journey Assembly of God Church in Bradenton. They were headed to a Christian music festival in Orlando.
Curt Johnson said he does have peace because he knows his daughter is in heaven with God. He also thanked everyone for their prayers and encouraged people not to live in fear because of this accident.