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Jayla Gray leaves big impact on family, friends

JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) - Hundreds of family members and friends gathered Saturday to remember a local college student who passed away last week.  

Those who knew her say she was “loving and caring,” according to WJTV 12 reporter Alex Love.

Cade Missionary Baptist Church housed the celebration of the life of Alcorn State sophomore and Jackson native, Jayla Gray. 

In the wake of the horrific tragedy which struck many across the Alcorn and Jackson communities, friends and relatives of the Elementary Education major student could not stop thinking about the cheerful memories she brought them in life. 

Gray’s high school classmate, Fitzgerald Small said “I was a football player, so I’d come in there after a loss on a Monday and she would say “man, it’s ok, you'll get them next time,’ or something like that. It would never be ‘oh man, you all lost,’ or something like that; it was positive.”

Another friend, Charla Simpson said Gray was “a motivator like if you couldn’t do something, she would be there to help.”

As an active member in church, Gray is said to have spent many years singing in the choir, as well as partaking in many school events with friends. 

“She was like the perfect one to look up to with our little kids in Sunday school and was always there for them,” friend Amerah Williams said.  

Since her death on Nov. 1, from a car crash, in which the vehicle she was in hit a downed tree due to stormy weather, many are now asking people to please take extra caution while driving through heavy rain. 

“Make sure you let your parents know your every move, or somebody know your every move,” friend Logan Beverly said.

Fitzgerald added, “you never know when it’s your time [so] just be happy, and be careful.”

For those around the Alcorn campus, university officials say there will still be counseling services offered this coming week, for anyone going through tough times with Gray’s passing. 

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