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'Haven't stopped praying': Family, friends gather for teen in hospital after Tampa motorcycle crash

Taylor Koulouris is in the hospital after being seriously injured in a South Tampa motorcycle crash on Friday.

TAMPA, Fla — A motorcycle crash in Tampa on Friday involving two Plant High School teenagers seriously injured one and killed another.

Taylor Koulouris, 15, was on the back of the motorcycle when it collided with a Kia Sorento at the intersection of Bay to Bay Boulevard and Lois Avenue. Koulouris was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. The driver of the motorcycle, Ben Francis, died from his injuries.

Tampa police say the driver of the car did not see the motorcycle approaching quickly when he was traveling northbound on Bay to Bay Boulevard from the stop sign on Lois Avenue. The driver of the Kia was transported to the hospital due to injuries from the crash but is expected to survive.

The crash remains under investigation by the Tampa Police Department.

More than 100 people from South Tampa joined together Sunday night to pray for the teens.

"This prayer vigil is for us to pray for the one who is still fighting and for the one who we lost," said Kenny Hubbell, the Director of Contemporary Worship and Chaplain to Youth and Families at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church.

Hubbell grew to know Koulouris from her heavy involvement with Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church where she attends bible study.

"I’ve been leading Taylor for several years now. She’s a vibrant soul," Hubbell explained. "She’s got such a great energy and a wonderful laugh."

Koulouris' friends can tell you, there's a cackle in her laugh that will put a smile on everyone's face.

"She brings me so much laughter and so much light just through her own laughter," said Koulouris' best friend, Elizabeth McCree.

When Hubbell heard about the accident on Friday, he described it as devastating.

"We just haven’t stopped praying since Friday afternoon," Hubbell said.

Koulouris' friends who she met at church are praying she gets better.

"I pray that God gives her the strength to heal and so she can be here laughing once again," McCree said.

Each of Koulouris' classmates at Plant High School says she's the kindest person they know.

"Just such a nice person, always there for you, the kindest person," said Taylor's classmate, Adam Enajibi. "One of the kindest people you will ever meet."

Koulouris has two younger siblings who her friends say, she absolutely adores.

"She loves her family," McCree explained. "She has two younger siblings and she is so caring and loving towards them."

Hubbell explained Koulouris' injuries are serious, and that's why prayers are so important.

"She’s beautiful inside and out. We’re coming together in hope and prayer that God can make this OK," Hubbell stated. 

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