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‘God, I’m so proud of her’: Family remembers 19-year-old LSU student killed in I-12 crash

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 11, 2022 at 11:00 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Slidell family is struggling with the loss of their 19-year-old daughter, Avery Natal. The LSU freshman was on her way home for the weekend when she was killed in a crash on I-12 in Covington, Friday.

Avery always told her family, boyfriend, and friends she loved them.

“She loved vlogging and I’m so thankful for those vlogs to look at today, I didn’t even know some of these existed,” her mother, Monique Natal said.

Her parents, sister, and boyfriend have a treasure trove of videos to look back on while they deal with the loss of their best friend.

“She couldn’t wait to get home to see us from college and you know, wasn’t in a hurry to go when it was time to go,” her father Mike Natal said.

Friday morning, she was on her way home from LSU driving east on I-12 in Covington, where there’s been construction for the past year that causes a lot of stop-and-go traffic.

Police say she was in the left lane and veered into the right lane rear-ending an 18-wheeler. Her vehicle traveled off the roadway and hit a tree.

She was wearing a seatbelt but died from her injuries.

“At that point, you don’t know, there is zero belief, she’s wearing a seatbelt, she’s got her airbags, there was zero reasons that she should not get out of the car,” Mike said.

The 19-year-old was studying to be a child psychiatrist.

“She wanted to help, mental health was a lot to her in her life,” Monique said.

Her parents say she was very religious, studious, and smart. Her charisma and personality kept them laughing constantly. She loved her family fiercely and of course, her boyfriend Luca. She was like a second mom to her younger sister, Payton. Family dinners were her favorite and coming home to watch a movie always took precedence over going out with friends.

“It was always about us, family, and getting back to us,” Mike said.

“And for a 19-year-old, that is not typical,” Monique added.

“The kindest soul that would do anything for you, always uplifting,” Mike said.

Many others saw that in her as well.

“She was so quiet to us and like I can’t get over the many lives she’s touched and she was just a little Avery and it’s like, god, I’m so proud of her, I’m so proud of her,” Monique said.

“Always, always, you know, hug your kid. Don’t leave angry. You know, make sure everyone always knows that you know the meaning of each other because anything like this could happen at any time,” Mike said.

The cause of the crash is still under investigation, impairment is not suspected.

Her parents say this is not going to be the last time you hear Avery Natal, they are planning to start a foundation or scholarship.

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