A single-car crash early Wednesday involving a “high rate of speed” in Key West killed a 20-year-old woman and sent her passenger, 26, to a Miami hospital by helicopter, police said.
Anya Semenyshena, a native of the Ukraine who moved to Key West last winter, died after she lost control of a 2008 Infinity and smashed first into a light pole and then a palm tree in the 1600 block of North Roosevelt Blvd., according to police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.
Predrag Maric, also of Key West, was severely injured in the 4 a.m. crash and airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
The crash closed a stretch of North Roosevelt — the city’s main thoroughfare that turns into a four-lane road farther down — from Palm to Eisenhower Avenue for nearly eight hours as Key West police traffic homicide officers investigated.
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Other than saying it was related to speeding, police did not release further details, including whether alcohol was a factor.
Semenyshena’s friends and co-workers at the Kennedy Cafe in Key West mourned the loss of a young woman they described as bold, beautiful and kind while some started raising money to pay for a funeral and to send her body back home.
“We contacted her mother and she asked us to transport her body back to Ukraine,” wrote Sean King, also known as Shukhrat, on a GoFundMe page called “Anya's funeral and transportation.”
The page, which lists a goal of $20,000, raised nearly $11,000 in about five hours on Wednesday.
“If you guys could help us to get the funds together, for her burial, whatever you can, so we can safely send her to her final journey and lay her to rest,” King wrote.
Originally from Mykolayiv, a city in the southern Ukraine, Semenyshena sought work and a new life in Key West in December 2015, according to her Facebook page, which has photos of her enjoying beaches, a swimming canal and kayaking around the Keys.
“She was very kind, really nice and full of energy,” Bek Umarov wrote on Facebook, where others posted condolences, several in Russian. “Rest in Peace.”
“It’s a pity,” Olga Golubeva wrote in Russian. “This young and beautiful. All life could be ahead, but no luck.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen