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Mother of teen critically injured in crash hopes concrete barriers on South Grand will make difference

"I'm just devastated and hurting. My daughter could have been killed," said Janice Moss.

ST. LOUIS — "I almost lost my oldest child," said Janise Moss.

That's why tears streamed down Moss' face during an exclusive interview with 5 On Your Side Tuesday.

Moss said on Nov. 3, her 19-year-old daughter, Branise Higgins, was riding in a black Jeep Cherokee with several of her friends on south Grand near St. Mary's High School.

RELATED: 2 dead, 4 injured in car crash on South Grand Thursday afternoon

Within moments, the unimaginable happened near a light pole that's now a memorial.

"It's revisiting the trauma all over again and it's kind of hard to talk about," said Moss.

Witnesses told police the male driver sped down the street in the center lane, clipped the back of another car and caused that driver to hit other vehicles.

Police said the driver then lost control of the Jeep, rolled several times and crashed into parked cars before landing on its side.

"I feel like it was a terrible choice on his behalf. Yes, I want him prosecuted because lives were lost," Janise Moss said.

Two of her daughter's friends died.

"And my heart goes out to those mothers who lost their children. No mother wants to lose a child," added Branise's mom.

Her daughter was thrown from the back seat of the Jeep. 

Branise suffered multiple injuries including a fractured pelvis. 

She graduated from Carnahan High School last spring and was in the process of looking for a job before the deadly car crash.

"Just a few days ago, her doctors had her removed from intensive care and into a regular room," said the teenager's mom.

Branise can sit up in a hospital bed, talk and touch her loved ones, but she cannot walk right now.

Her mom's just grateful she survived.

"To look at that car and knowing what the witnesses said happen, yes it's a miracle she's still alive. I just say glory to God," Moss said.

On Monday, 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn had the city's Street Department put multiple concrete barriers along the section of South Grand between Meramec and Delor Street in hopes of preventing future tragedies.

"There are lots of crazy drivers and I'm hoping that the barriers will help slow people down," said Legina Taylor, a co-owner of the nearby Arcades Market.

"I'm glad to see the barriers up and I think they're gonna make a difference," added Moss.

Moss said her daughter still has a long road to recovery and will ultimately have to undergo physical therapy.

Alderman Cohn said the barriers are a short-term solution to the traffic problems on South Grand.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis said officers are still looking for the young man who was driving the Jeep at the time of the deadly car crash.

He ran off after the wreck.

A GoFundMe page is set up to assist Branise Moss with her medical bills, future physical therapy and other things she will need.

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