AceShowbiz - R&B singer Jaelyn "JaeRene" Chapman has gone way too soon. The Houston native was killed in a wrong-way car crash on the Westpark Tollway on early Wednesday morning, April 7, various local news outlets report. She was only 19 years old.
The crash happened in the inbound lanes near Fondren around 2 A.M., when a driver went the wrong way and hit another vehicle with four people in it. One of victims, who was later identified as JaeRene, died, while the three other people from that vehicle were transported to the hospital in critical condition.
Investigators believe the wrong-way driver was "highly intoxicated" during the accident. The man, who has been identified as Bobby James Brown, 32, is believed to have entered the tollway through an exit ramp near Richmond and Post Oak. He has been charged with one count of intoxication manslaughter and three counts of intoxication assault.
A spokesperson for the Harris County Toll Road Authority said the wrong-way driver warning system was not activated in that area at the time due to construction on Interstate 59. The spokesperson added that a deputy ensured the barriers and temporary wrong-way signage is in place nightly, as it was the night of the crash.
JaeRene had competed in local and national beauty pageants since the age of 4. The self-proclaimed R&B princess released an album in 2019 and a single titled "Fallback" in 2020. She was also featured on the Houston anthem "H-Town for Real (Remix)", which also starred artists including Paul Wall, Lil Flip and Zro.
Lemon-Lime Light Media released a statement following JaeRene's passing. "It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the tragic passing of our vibrant Jaelyn 'JaeRene' Chapman," it read. "We will always remember Jae's smile, love for her music, talents, community involvement, bubbly personality, and a huge heart. During this time, we ask that you keep her family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers. She will truly be missed by all of us. In the coming days, we will release additional information on how you can pay your respects to our beloved JaeRene."