Sydni Yoshi Rounds RIP
The 18-year-old Palmetto Ridge High School graduate was killed, June 28, when her car was struck by a pick up truck that crossed over the inside eastbound lane of Golden Gate Boulevard, hopped the raised median and slammed head-on into Rounds’ car.
“She was always able to put smiles on everyone’s faces. I can write a whole list of things about her, but that’s something I’ll never forget about her,” said Sebastian Carandang, a close personal friend.
From her hairstyles to her photography, friends say Rounds was artistic in every way.
“When I looked at Sydni one word came to mind: life. She was full of it and with every word spoken, every breath taken and every move she made, she showed me that.,” said Dani Denis. “I’ll always love her for teaching me to appreciate my talents and to be me. She left me with a lot of life lessons.”
Palmetto Ridge High School teacher Erik Vina remembered Rounds for her warm personality and style.
“Sydni walked and lived to the beat of her own drum; she was a free spirit and had a loving and beautiful personality. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photographs left behind by Sydni are now worth millions. Much love to Sydni and her family.”
The concert was organized by students and alumni of Palmetto Ridge High School.
She was the girl with the sneaker obsession. The girl with a Mohawk. The girl with an incredible eye for photography.
On Saturday, the woman voted “most unique” by her fellow graduates at Palmetto Ridge High School died in a car crash in Collier County. She was 18.
Sydni Yoshie Rounds had just graduated one month before, and was still contemplating the direction she wanted her life to take. For an 18-year-old considering a career in graphic design, advertising or health care, the possibilities seemed limitless.
“Sydni was truly an amazing person, who deeply affected everyone she came in contact with,” wrote close friend Gabrielle McCaffrey in an e-mail. “Syd was a talented photographer and thankfully, we have the beautiful artwork she left behind to remember her by.”
McCaffrey created a group Saturday on the Internet social networking site Facebook to remember Sydney Rounds. By Sunday night, the group was 90 members strong, and growing.
“She was awesome, quirky, inventive and genuine,” wrote Isaac Roman, who went to high school with Rounds. “You will never meet a girl with as free of a spirit or a girl that walks to such a unique beat.”
Roman, like others memorializing Rounds on Sunday, recalled her for an array of talents and traits that made her more than just “memorable” — her very personality endeared her to others with lightning speed.
“She had a contagious snort/laugh, a smile that brightened a room and a very unique sense of fashion,” wrote art teacher Erik Vina in an e-mail Sunday. “Many students and faculty knew Sydni for her outrageous hair styles that seemed to change from week to week, and her photographs that seemed professional in quality.”
In one self-portrait posted online, she sits in a chair reading Shel Silverstein’s poem “Where the Sidewalk Ends” in the middle of a dusty back road, her purple sneakers stuck out over a pile of scattered books.
In another, she sits against a background of gold brocade wallpaper, sporting aviator sunglasses and a 5-inch Mohawk. It is an endearing image of hipness and youth.
And for a select few, it is the way a beloved friend will forever be remembered.
Sydni Rounds died Saturday of injuries suffered when her 1998 Honda Civic was struck head-on by a pickup truck driven by Anthony J. Dirre, 37, of Naples at 2:10 p.m.
Dirre was charged with careless driving, causing a fatality, after the Florida Highway Patrol determined that Dirre’s truck crossed the raised median on Golden Gate Boulevard while traveling eastbound toward 19th Street Northwest in Golden Gate Estates, and entered the inside westbound lane where Rounds was driving.
The report states that alcohol was not a factor in the crash, and both drivers were wearing seat belts. Rounds was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital, where she later died.
Dirre, whose injuries were listed as “serious” on the report, was taken to Physicians Regional Medical Center-Pine Ridge Road after the crash, the report states.
According to hospital officials, Dirre was no longer being cared for Sunday at the Physicians Regional Medical Center.