Family, friends rally around East Jessamine senior seriously injured in crash

gkocher1@herald-leader.comJune 6, 2014 

Abby Morguelan was scheduled to graduate Friday night from East Jessamine High School.

Then, in the blink of an eye, the crash happened.

The 17-year-old senior was driving Tuesday morning when she lost control and her car crashed into a tree in eastern Fayette County, near the Jessamine line.

Friday she was in a medically induced coma at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital to help her body heal. She is recovering from internal injuries and broken ribs.

But her parents, Marty and Florence, and friends remain positive.

"She's doing okay," Marty Morguelan said Friday. "We're optimistic and hopeful that she can turn a corner soon and get to a point where they can take some of the medicine off and maybe unsedate her enough to do an awake-type examination. ...She's a lot better than she could be and we're optimistic."

Friends have rallied around the family. Dozens of people have taken to social media website Twitter to tweet words of encouragement or retweet "#PrayForAbby" as a means of expressing their support.

Plans were still fluid, but it was thought that Abby's friend, Gordon Smith, would walk across the graduation stage in her stead Friday night at Southland Christian Church. Abby's older sisters — Shiloh, Hanna and Gabrielle — also planned to attend, Marty Morguelan said.

Over the last two years, Abby has made her mark as an alto in Dually Noted, West Jessamine's show choir, said Jessica Greene, director of choral activities at West Jessamine High. The choir has a dual purpose — hence the name — to provide entertainment and to share revenue from ticket proceeds with various community projects.

"East High doesn't have a choral program so we have been allowing students to come over to West each day to be a part of my program," Greene said. "(Abby) came over and joined the concert choir, and then auditioned for show choir."

Abby was unsure of herself at first. The prospect of singing and dancing in heels on stage was challenging.

"And as she started to practice, she really started to put herself into perfecting the moves and perfecting the songs, and you could just see her start to glow as she started to get it," Greene said. "This was one of those years where she really came out of her shell and she was shining.

"So this year, as a senior, she got a lot of the prominent roles. And being the tiny girl that she is, a guy would just pick her up and set her on his shoulder. She got a lot of the spotlight this year by being able to do some of the difficult lifts."

"Those performances were beautiful," Marty Morguelan said. "It was wonderful watching how well they all did. And she was right in there. She loved that."

Abby was also a member of West High's women's choir and concert choir as well.

"A lot of people didn't realize she wasn't a West student because she was over here so much," Greene said.

"She is one of those girls who, if she sees somebody who's not having the best time, she'll get down and say 'Hey, what's going on? And she'll mean it and she'll sit down and talk with them. Very encouraging," Greene said.

"And a smile that could just change anybody's mood. If she thought something was funny, the whole world would know because she would just laugh the loudest and she'd have to get up and get out of the room because she was so embarrassed that her laugh was going to embarrass her."

Family and friends hope to hear that laugh again soon.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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