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'She always had her nose in her books:' Mercer senior killed in wreck had dreams to go to medical school

An escapee from a Gwinnett County probation detention center escapee faces charges after a chase in Monroe County kills his passenger, a Mercer University student.

MACON, Ga. — Hannah Warren is a student at Mercer University who works a part-time job at the school's medical school library.

“I finally realized what it is medical students have to go through to be doctors,” said Warren.

She says that's where she met Sapphire Thomas. She says Thomas was a biology major who dreamed of going to medical school.

“She was usually pretty quiet. She always had her nose in her books, but she was really great with interacting with the students,” said Warren.

Thomas was a passenger in a chase that started Saturday evening in Monroe County.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says deputies tried to pull over a gray 2016 Dodge Charger for speeding on I-75 south.

RELATED: UPDATE: Mercer student dead, man arrested after Monroe County chase ends in a Macon crash

They say the driver, 25-year-old Erick Guillermo Tapia Algeria of Snellville, never stopped.

The chase led them to the Madison on Mercer apartment complex on Bloomfield Road. The car wrecked and killed Thomas.

“The circumstances in which it happened, I can’t imagine how she ended up in the car and I don't know what she was thinking through all of it,” said Warren.

Warren says the news has spread throughout the campus after the university sent out an email to faculty and students on Sunday evening.

The email says the memorial service plans for Sapphire are pending and encourages the Mercer community to join together.

“All of us are seniors and were about to go out in the world and, you know, start changing it,” said Warren.

Warren says she wishes the two could have graduated together because she says Thomas would have made a great doctor.

RELATED: Teen dead, another injured in Peach County wreck

RELATED: UPDATE: Grandmother and grandson hit, killed by car on Mercer University Drive identified

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