‘He was such a loving soul’: Tampa church holds vigil for 2 Plant High teens involved in crash

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa community gathered at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church Sunday night to uplift two families impacted by a deadly crash on Friday afternoon at the intersection of Lois Avenue and Bay to Bay Boulevard.

Close friends told 8 On Your Side that Taylor Koulouris and Ben Francis were the two teens involved. People at the church lit candles and spoke words of encouragement in honor of them.

“Taylor, the young lady still fighting in the hospital is a student in this ministry program and a friend of mine,” said Kenny Hubbell, the chaplain. “I’ve been leading Taylor for several years now. She is a vibrant soul.”

Hubbell said Koulouris’ injuries are severe, but they’re hoping she recovers.

“Coming together in hope and prayer and asking God to make this okay.”

Unfortunately, the other student passed away. Tampa Police said the wreck involved a motorcycle and car colliding.

Close friends told 8 On Your Side that Ben Francis had just received the bike for his birthday.

“He was such a loving soul. He always made everybody smile. You would never not smile when you were with him.”

These two teens impacted so many other students at Plant High. Trent Greenwood said going back to school on Monday will not feel the same.

“I for one am not going to get over this for a while. I still can’t believe this is a real thing, we’re gathered here right now having to do. It’s horrible.”

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