Channing Quinichett was a few months from graduating from the University of Maryland and beginning her career as a teacher and becoming a mother.
"She had a lot of goals and aspirations," said Tore Watkins, a schoolmate and friend, "and she was reaching them."
But last Wednesday, in an unusual wreck on Interstate 495, Quinichett died. At about 1 p.m., near Route 1, a tire fell off a delivery truck carried by a tow truck from Arlington, Va., to Westminster. The tire rolled across the grassy median, crashing into a moving tractor-trailor that launched it back across the highway, where it landed on the windshield and roof of the 1988 Honda Civic being driven by Quinichett. No one else was injured in the incident.
The 21-year-old, whose father, Mark, lives in Halethorpe, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Just two days earlier, she learned she was pregnant with a baby girl.
Police said charges could be filed upon completion of their investigation in a few weeks.
When Quinichett, an early childhood education major, attended Magruder High School in Rockville, she took Advanced Placement courses and was a member of the dance team. She was also an active member of Church of the Redeemer in Gaithersburg and worked with infants during services.
A group on the popular social networking Web site Facebook was started in Quinichett's memory, and by Sunday, nearly 350 people had joined.
A funeral service will be held tomorrow at Church of the Redeemer, at 19425 Woodfield Road, in Gaithersburg. A viewing is scheduled for 10 a.m., and funeral service will begin at 11.
"She was an outstanding friend, a great person," said Watkins, who attended middle school, high school and college with Quinichett. "She's dearly missed by everyone."