The family of a young woman whose body was recovered Saturday after a violent crash into Leiper's Creek says she may have been there for more than a day before she was found.
Ravane Ray, 20, of Franklin had been driving south on Leipers Creek Road late Thursday when her car left the road and went over an embankment, landing upside-down in the shallow water.
"What a wonderful person she was. What a tremendous young lady she was. She loved people. She always had a smile on her face," said Ray's great-aunt Brenda Walker.
Ray was on her way to her boyfriend's house when she crashed.
"I think they all got into a panic and started calling everybody that knew her, relatives. And she wasn't at anybody's house," Walker said.
When the family found out Ray hadn't showed up to work the next morning, their worries became frantic. Police issued an alert to be on the lookout for her, but the family decided to started searching themselves.
Early Saturday afternoon, they found her deceased inside the vehicle. They think she had been there for about 36 hours.
"The police told everybody at the scene that they felt that she had died instantly, but even that is unknown," Walker said.
Ray had not been drinking, according to police, and her family says they know she wasn't on the phone with her boyfriend at the time.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating what may have caused Ray to go off the road.
"It could have been a deer. She could have been driving too fast going into that curve. It could have been that maybe she was just distracted," Walker said.
Relatives say they are not focusing on the details of her death, but celebrating her life.
"She never left anybody - no matter friends, family - that she didn't say to you, 'Love you,'" Walker said.
The family released balloons in Ray's memory Monday at Williamson Medical Center, where she worked.
Her funeral is set for Wednesday at 11 a.m. the Williamson Memorial Funeral Home.
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