Atchison girl remembers teen's last moments after car crashes into icy pond

ATCHISON, Kan. - An Atchison, Kan., family is preparing for their teenage daughter's funeral after the car she was riding in flipped into an icy pond.

Fifteen-year-old Desirae Crossland died after the crash Sunday. Her sister Felicity Crossland and their friend Kelsey Essig, both 18, were also in the car. They both survived.

RELATED | Teen describes attempt to save sister from icy pond after crash

According to friends and family, Desirae loved spending time at the Atchison Humane Society.

Kelsey, who was in the passenger seat when the car flipped into the Leavenworth pond, still remembers the crash vividly.

"I can feel the coldness of the water that we were in," she said.

Felicity was driving, and Desirae was directly behind her in the back seat.

"I went automatically back to Desi to comfort her because she was crying and saying that she didn't want to die," Kelsey said.

Both girls tried to get her out. Felicity left to get help while Kelsey stayed with Desirae.

"I held Desi's hand and I tried to pull her out, but she was stuck," Kelsey said. "She told me she was too cold and she couldn't feel anything, and I said, ‘Desi, I promise I'm going to get you out of here, I just need to go find help because I can't get you out."

Desirae later died at the hospital.

Kelsey feels she is only here today because of Felicity.

"I haven't been that cold before, and Felicity was just so tough to fight through it and she got the window out," she explained.

She said she'll remember Desirae's sweet spirit.

"She was the sweetest thing, she could make even the saddest person smile," Kelsey said.

Desirae's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Memorial Hall in Atchison. It's open to the public.

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