TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) - A drunk driver killed a Troy teenager before she had a chance to live out her lifelong dreams, but today her memory still continues to help others.
Ashley Easterbrook died when she was just 18-years-old.
“Today, Ashley would be 33-years-old,” said her father David Easterbrook.
Easterbrook is hosting a fundraiser this weekend to help other teenagers go to college and have the chance his daughter never did. The car accident happened in 1997. Ashley Easterbrook and two friends, Michael Jamison and Andy Stint, drove out on a Monday night for ice cream. They were just five days away from high school graduation when a drunk driver, a 33-year-old woman, hit their car and killed all three Troy teenagers.
“I cannot help but think somebody sitting in that bar had seen her walk out drunk,” said Easterbrook about the woman who hit the teens.
Ashley was a gymnast and had been set to go to the University of Michigan to study nursing with a dream to help others. Today her father and brother keep her memory alive with a foundation called Ashley’s Dream. So far they have handed out $500,000 dollars in scholarships and grants to seniors going to college. Their unique scholarship requires students to have a GPA between 3.5 and 3.74.
“Two days before Ashley died I said, where are your scholarships? She said, dad, you have to be a 3.75 or higher here at Troy High to get a scholarship,” said Easterbrook. She was a 3.55. So we focused the scholarships into that GPA area.”
They hope to send more teens to college with a fundraiser this weekend. Ashley’s father also wants to encourage people to “Do Your Part” and have the courage to stop an intoxicated person from getting behind the wheel or notify a bartender when a patron is drunk and about to drive.
Easterbrook also wants people to know that police officers will respond immediately for a drunk driver. We went to the Troy Police Department and looked at how their automated system worked to locate cars for a 9-1-1 call. A dispatcher looks at a large computer board with the locations of all the patrol cars and dispatches the nearest unit to the scene. Drunk driving calls are considered high priority.
Easterbrook wishes someone would have made that call that could have saved Ashley’s life.
To find out more information about the fundraiser this weekend and the foundation’s scholarships, visit their website at: www.ashleysdream.org
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