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Wrong-way driver kills Lake Wales mom who was close to graduation

Jessica Daigle leaves behind a 5-year-old son.

LAKE WALES, Fla. — A family is grieving the loss of a young mother who investigators say was killed by a driver who was going the wrong direction early Sunday morning in Lake Wales.

Jessica Daigle, 27, was hit and killed at the intersection of State Road 60 and Stokes Road.

"The scar will go over your heart. She was the love of our lives. She was kind, she was generous," said Daigle's grandmother, Kathie Duke.

The pain is numbing, and the memories won't go away for the family.

"I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest. She was my baby, and I can't believe this happened to her. I should have gone before her," Duke said.

Duke is still unable to process what happened to her granddaughter, but she keeps close the necklace Jessica gave to her.

Jessica leaves behind her 5-year-old son, August. They were best friends, and she fought to make sure he would be OK.

"She wanted to be the best mother she could. I think that's all she's ever wanted. She loved and cared for August so much," said her brother, Noah Daigle.

The 23-year-old brother is still grabbling with the fact that his sibling is gone. Much like her bond with August, their own bond was unbreakable.

"We've always been there for each other. It hurts you know? It's someone very close to you. It's one of the closest people to me," he said.

Noah said his sister was set to graduate July 9 from welding school.

"I actually talked her into going to welding school because she almost didn't want to do it. She was more concerned about just caring for August," he said.

A master craftswoman, she worked to better herself, support her son and family. The family said the road of grief will not be easy for them.

"I just want one more night. One more night with her to just go out be siblings again. It's some of the best memories I have," Noah said.

Polk County deputies say 39-year-old Mark Poe was the driver who hit Jessica head-on. The Frostproof man now faces vehicular homicide charges and more are pending. 

Jessica's funeral will be held on Saturday. Her family said plans are in the works to honor her during graduation in July. 

The local community has stepped up to help the family and support her son in any way they can. If you'd like to donate money to the family, click here.

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