Family and friends of Shelbi Stephens gathered in a DeSoto Park Sunday to remember the 23-year-old, killed by a wrong way driver early Saturday morning.
The crash happened on the Dallas North Tollway near the Maple Avenue overpass at about 2:20 a.m., according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Troopers said the preliminary investigation showed a Cadillac CTS was traveling north in the southbound lanes of the DNT when it crashed into a Chevrolet Impala and a Nissan Altima.
Five people, including the wrong-way driver, were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
Stephens, a passenger in the Altima, died at the scene.
"Finding the strength from the inside to overcome any obstacle -- that's what she was about," Stephens' sister, CeCe Sillemon, said.
Sillemon said Stephens, a single mom, was building a successful hair-styling business with plans to launch her own makeup line.
"Different agencies were calling her to come and work on set. She was rising, she was going somewhere and she was really making a name for herself in the beauty industry," Sillemon said.
In the industry, Stephens was known as Shelbi "The Slayologist".
"I was very proud of her hard work," Angela Sillemon, Stephens' mother, said.
Angela Sillemon said troopers knocked on her door at around 5 a.m. on Saturday with the news her daughter was killed in a crash.
"Disbelief. I feel like she's just out of town or visiting friends," Stephens' father Wayne Stephens said. "I just feel like she's going to call and say, 'Daddy I just called to see how you're doing.'"
Stephens' family said Stephens was out with friends. They'd hailed a ride share to be safe that night. Three of Stephens' friends who were injured remained in the hospital on Sunday, according to Stephens' family.
As troopers investigate why the wrong-way driver ended up on the DNT, Stephens said he wanted to see extra precautions taken to prevent another crash. He said light up signs to warn wrong-way drivers they're about to enter the tollway could help.
"Why not create something that's going to help prevent the next loss or the next pain that we're going through?" Stephens asked.
Shelbi Stephens was a graduate of DeSoto High School and the mother of a 4-year-old son.
Former classmates from DeSoto gathered at Zeiger Park on Sunday evening to light candles and release pink balloons in Stephens' honor. Some of her past coaches and teachers spoke about the determined young student who was a positive force in her 2014 graduating class.
Sunday, DPS identified the driver of the Cadillac as 29-year-old L.C. Skinner from Mesquite. The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed yet, according to DPS.