A family is mourning the loss of a newly engaged couple who were killed on Thanksgiving Day by a wrong-way driver, according to officials. Family members said the couple recently announced they were expecting a baby before they were tragically killed.
LaShay Waiters, 24, and Yvette Alexandre, 21, were killed along with the wrong-way driver, Justin Lakin, 21, southeast of Tampa on I-75, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Investigators say they do not know why Lakin was driving the wrong way.
The couple was dropping off a friend Thursday night, but didn’t make it back home.
“They had a great future together,” said Waiters’ mother, Tamika Snipes.
According to the Times, they met at the University of Central Florida. The couple recently moved into a new apartment in Orlando.
Two months ago, Waiters surprised Alexandre with a wedding proposal. He invited 50 of their family and friends to the proposal disguised as a housewarming party to Alexandre. Waiters even asked Alexandre’s father for permission to marry her before he popped the question.
“I found that admirable, especially given the young men of this era who don’t understand the value of chivalry,” said dad Robert Alexandre.
Just a few weeks later, the couple announced they were expecting a baby. They planned to graduate in the spring and juggle their careers and family.
“She was determined, so I knew she wouldn’t let anything hold her back from what she wanted to do,” said Alexandre.
He said he had a good conversation with the couple before they left their house on Thanksgiving Day.
“I wanted to reaffirm the fact that I was proud of them, and I didn’t want them to feel anyone was disappointed in the choices they made. That couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said. “I wanted her to know that she had my enduring love and support as a father.”
According to WFLA, investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. Toxicology results are pending.