FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Family and friends are remembering a young Fresno woman who died in a tragic car crash Sunday night that made it the first fatal car accident of 2017 in the city.
Loved ones say 21-year-old Sydney Weakley was killed after an SUV hit her car near Herndon and West Avenues. A family member says she was just around the corner from her home when the crash happened.
Late Monday, a candlelight vigil was held in Weakley's honor. A somber mood permeated the air as Sydney's parents and friends stood at the corner where she died on New Year's Day.
With hugs and tears, loved ones made it through a heartbreaking night. The young Uber driver was killed when an SUV smashed into the passenger side of her car.
Her father Steven says he saw the accident on Action News but had no clue it involved someone he loved.
"I didn't know anything until the coroner's office showed up at my house at midnight, knocking on my door," he said.
Steven says the past 24 hours have been numbing for the family.
"To know that I'm never going to be able to see the things she's going to accomplish in life, that's harder than anything I've ever done in my life," he said.
Weakley graduated from Bullard High School in 2013. Those close to her say she was a very outgoing, kind and generous person. Her dad says she also was a hard worker.
"She moved out at the age of 18," he said. "She just wanted to spread her little wings and fly, and I gave her the okay. How else are you going to learn if you don't just go for it?"
Sydney's dad said the thing he will miss the most about his daughter is, "I'm going to miss those phone calls on Thursday afternoon. She calls me up and says, 'Hey dad, can I borrow $20 from you?' And me telling her when I give her the money, 'You don't have to pay me back.' It's just dad giving you money."
But he is going to remember what she gave him - the simple lessons that helped him become a better man and father.
"One of the things she taught me was honesty," he said. "Especially when it came to my kids."
The family says seeing the outpouring of support is helping them heal.