MORRISTON, Fla.(WCJB)-- “I love you, mama.” It was one of the last posts to social media 17-year old Katie Westphal would share with the world - a post that only briefly highlighted how much she adored her mother.
“Katie was Josie’s mini-me… she was growing up so much to be like her mom,” the family wrote in a statement Friday morning.
The statement came just one day after Katie was killed in a tragic accident in Morriston that also left her mother recovering from serious injuries.
According to the family, Katie and her mother, both from Anthony, were on their way to drop off some keys to her father who was on a hunting trip.
At approximately 8:05 p.m. Thursday night, while traveling west on Southeast 35th Street, their vehicle – a 2001 Jeep Cherokee- approached a curve turning north and veered across the shoulder before striking a tree, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.
Katie was taken to Williston Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Her mother Josie, was taken to UF Health Shands in serious condition where she currently remains.
In a statement released to TV20 news, the family described the two as inseparable and full of life.
“Josie works at North Florida Hospital as a virtual sitter and has been a certified nurse assistant for over 20 years. She is a great caretaker. She has also taken in so many kids. She is always willing to help anyone in need. She is an amazing wife, mother, grandma, and friend,” the statement read.
Katie, who was a senior at North Marion High School, had aspirations of following in her mother’s footsteps and becoming a nurse practitioner and was eager to attend the prom this year, her family said.
The family set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses. The link is on the right side of the story.