A 17-year-old Florida student who dreamed of becoming a U.S. Marine and competed as the lone female player on her high school’s football team died Friday night after being struck by a suspected drunk driver, police say.
Sophia Delott, of Indian Rocks Beach, was riding her bicycle in a designated lane on the Indian Rocks Causeway Bridge around 10:30 p.m. when she was hit by 69-year-old Neil Singhal, deputies told FOX13. They say Singhal swerved his BMW into the lane and struck Delott -- sending the Seminole High School student flying into the air. She later died at a local hospital.
"It's a big loss because I know the potential she had just in my short time I had with her," Sgt. Paul Digness, a recruiter with the Marines, told FOX13. Delott, he added, recently had signed up to join the service branch before her death.
Prosecutors told the station that police who investigated Singhal's car following the collision found an open bottle of vodka -- and said he appeared to have been impaired.
Singhal is charged with DUI manslaughter and is being held on $200,000 bond.
Delott, who played as a safety on the Seminole High School Warhawks football team, was the program's only female player.
“She asked not to be treated differently, so we didn’t treat her differently," head coach Chris Miller told FOX13. "She quietly earned the respect of everyone on the team."
Bruno Boyens, a teammate, added "she just meant so much to us and this whole football program."
Fox News' Kira Grant contributed to this report.