On her birthday weekend, Natina Reed of the Atlanta R&B group Blaque died late Friday night in Gwinnett County.
Earlier online reports were that she was killed in a hit-and-run, but authorities have since ruled that out.
“As of right now, it does not appear that the driver has any fault in this event,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Sgt. Rich Long told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The driver, in fact, contacted police about the accident. And that person – who at the moment remains unidentified – is not expected to be charged, Long said.
CPR was performed where she was hit by a red Honda Accord on Lawrenceville Hwy., near Hamilton Road. She was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, where Reed was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m., the newspaper reported; adding that authorities are still investigating why Reed was on the road, and whether she was crossing it or walking alongside it.
Reed’s groupmates expressed their sentiments early Saturday on Twitter: “My world as I know it has forever changed,” wrote Shamari Fears-DeVoe of Blaque, wife of New Edition member Ron DeVoe. “Until we meet again, may you find comfort in the arms of an angel. I love you Natina.”
“Last night the world was changed forever, life will never be the same,” tweeted Brandi Williams, another member. “She was my sister.” (Erica Pullins was also a part of the group at one point).
Fears-DeVoe and Williams later released a statement to the AJC saying Blaque was back together, and working on new music and a reality show.
“Natina continuously embodied the pioneering spirit of Blaque and her undeniable creativity touched the hearts of fans everywhere. Natina was a mother, sister, accomplished songwriter, artist and friend,” the statement said.
Blaque were the proteges of late TLC rapper Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes, and seemed to be fashioned in her doll-cute-but-wickedly-rebellious persona. Lopes signed the singing/rapping ensemble to her Left Eye Productions, creating late-’90s hits including “808” and “Bring It All To Me.”
Like Lopes, they also appeared on the wide screen; most notably in 2000 cheerleading favorite “Bring It On.” That film’s co-star, Gabrielle Union, also tweeted: “#RIP #Sad #BringItOn.”
Reed is survived by a 10-year-old son, Tren Brown; reportedly with rapper Kurupt.
Sunday she would have been 33.
– Sonia Murray, CBS Local