When 19-year-old Jessica McCassie died hours after a car crash in Candia, New Hampshire, on June 7, she had a needle in her arm.
McCassie, who lived with her grandmother in Fremont, New Hampshire, at the time, graduated second in her class from Nute High School in Milton, New Hampshire, last year and excelled at basketball and volleyball, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.
"She had gotten involved with heroin her senior year, and we could see how it was changing her," her aunt, Audrey Musso of Wakefield, New Hampshire, told WCVB. "Her disposition started to change, and she wanted to sleep a lot.”
McCassie enrolled in the New Hampshire Technical Institute but she soon dropped out. She had spent time in rehab and was revived by the drug Narcan, which reverses the effects of a heroin overdose, nine times this year.
“Her mother wants the truth to be out that this is a heroin statistic,” Musso told the Union Leader, “and it took a bright young girl’s life.
According to police, McCassie was driving alone on Sunday when her car hit a guardrail, crossed over two traffic lanes, and rolled over. She died of her injuries. Musso says that McCassie had a needle in her arm at the time of the crash. Doctors also allegedly told the family that McCassie had cocaine and heroin in her system.
State Police Lt. Chris Vetter wouldn’t confirm that drugs were involved in the crash as the case remains under investigation.
Musso said she hopes people understand how dangerous heroin can be.
“What we need to get across to these young kids is that you can do it 30 times or you can do it once, but in the end it’s going to get you," she said. "It will take your life."
McCassie’s death stunned her high school community. Musso and Principal Aaron Bronson are discussing establishing a scholarship in McCassie's memory. The scholarship would reportedly go to a graduate who plans to study substance abuse counseling.
“Jessica was a nice kid who finished at the top of her class last year. She played sports. She was involved in the community,” Bronson said.
He added that guidance counselors would be available for students in need.
“She’s going to be missed, I know,” Bronson said.