COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) -- Texas A&M University is mourning the loss of one of their own. 19 year-old Sophie Rosenberg and her mother, Leslie, were killed in a car crash early Monday morning when they were driving into College Station.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said their Dodge Minivan hit a big rig as it was turning onto Highway 21. Sophie and Leslie’s deaths are just the latest in a number on that stretch of road.
According to TxDOT, over the last five years, six people have died along that stretch, from the county line to Caldwell, and more than 20 have had incapacitating injuries.
Sophie's friends say she had a magical way of making everyone feel included. A sign outside Chabad Jewish Center reads 'home away from home', and members say Sophie made everyone who walked in feel like family.
"She didn't care what your GPA was, what your social status was, how popular you were, how cool you are, how much money you had. She welcomed everybody with a smile. She was friends with everyone," said Manya Lazaroff, the Chabad Jewish Center co-director.
Lazaroff says Sophie always wore her signature blue sunglasses, and spent every day of the week at Chabad, volunteering, working, and teaching.
"There was no job beneath her, everything was with a smile. I think Sophie learned here, worked her, grew here, and she really personified the best of what it means to be a Jewish Aggie," Lazaroff said.
Fellow Jewish Aggies traveled to Sophie's hometown of Austin Wednesday afternoon for her funeral. They say what they'll miss the most is her positive energy and her smile.
"I really hope that her positivity will be a source of blessings for us. Not just something to be sad about, but something that she can be looked to as inspiration," said Ari Hutchison, Sophie’s friend.
The group says they are leaning on their faith and honoring Sophie in the best way they know how.
"We know that Sophie’s smile is what everyone needs, that genuine care. We are determined as a community to do so, we are resolved as a community to do so, and we will assure through acts of goodness and kindness, all over campus, Sophie’s legacy will live on," Lazaroff said.
The Chabad Jewish Center is holding their own memorial service for Sophie and her mother on October 25 at 8:00 p.m. In their memory, the family requests donations be made to Jewish Family Services of Austin, or Chabad at Texas A&M University.