MANATEE -- A 17-year-old Manatee girl critically injured in a single-car accident Saturday near Lakeland has died, her family says.
Sierra Johnson died Thursday, her family reported on a Facebook page dedicated to their daughter. "Sierra has been promoted to glory and she is dancing with Jesus right now as we speak," a Facebook post said. "We are so grateful for all of the people who have stood with us in prayer, friendship, love and sacrificial giving for Sierra during the most difficult past few days for our family."
Johnson and five other teens, along with a 26-year-old, all from Journey Assembly of God Church in Manatee County, were part of a four-vehicle caravan on Interstate 4 en route to a Christian music festival in Orlando when a tire failed and the vehicle veered toward the median, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle rolled over and one person was ejected and another partially ejected, according to the report.
Of the remaining passengers, one is recuperating from ankle surgery and four other teens and one adult have been released from two Polk County hospitals.
Johnson's Facebook page has attracted attention from around the world. By Thursday night, more than 9,000 people had "liked" the page. Two hours after her death was announced, more than 600 comments had been posted to the page.
The family has asked for privacy. "Our family desperately needs your prayers right now as this is a difficult time right now for us. We can't handle having any visitors right now as we need to spend time to process this together," the announcement said.