ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - One of two women who died Monday in a head-on crash on the GreeneWay was a survivor of the Pulse nightclub shooting, Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan told Channel 9's Shannon Butler on Tuesday.
Sheehan described Jahqui Sevilla as a good person and a private woman who was starting to get her life back together after the June 12, 2016, attack.
The 20-year-old Orlando woman was leaving the club last year when Omar Mateen began shooting. Sevilla, her friend, Paula Blanco, and Blanco's boyfriend, Cory Connell, hid behind a couch.
In the hours after the attack, Sevilla told Channel 9's Roy Ramos that she carried Connell out of the club after he had been shot, but he died.
Troopers said Sevilla was driving south on State Road 417 near University Boulevard at about 12:30 a.m. Monday when she lost control of her Mitsubishi Lancer, crossed the median and crashed head-on into a northbound Dodge Durango driven by Soroya Matias-Roth, 53, of Lakeland.
The collision killed both women, investigators said.
"I did a lot of crying before you got here. I did a lot of crying last night," said Benijno Sevilla, Jahqui Sevilla's father. "She likes to make people laugh. She has a beautiful smile, beautiful cheeks."
Troopers said they're still trying to determine whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Sevilla's father said his daughter's recovery was long after the Pulse shooting, but she made progress.
"I was appreciative of the fact we had time. I was glad that she was fortunate enough to survive Pulse. And I appreciate the time after it and I always appreciate hugging and kissing her and telling her how much I love her," he said.
Barbara Poma, the nightclub's owner, posted a tribute to Sevilla Tuesday on Facebook.
Sevilla was an athlete who played for the Orlando Anarchy women's football team.
The crash remains under investigation.
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