Home > quotes and lyrics > Foundation for Ashley’s Dream

Foundation for Ashley’s Dream

A friend (Kim) passed this along. She’s friends with Ashley’s family – it really hit home for me because it happened in Metro-Detroit.

By Mitch Albom, “Dreams Deferred 1997”

Last in a series on the heartbreaks and hopes of unsung Detroit area athletes.

A thin drizzle fell that night, giving the streets an oily sheen under the lights. It was just past midnight, Monday turning to Tuesday, and a teenager named Tim Doil was driving through Troy with two friends, coming home from a high school graduation party. It was warm. Early June. They had Puff Daddy on the radio, singing “I’ll Be Missing You.” They were heading east.

In the intersection up ahead, Crooks and Long Lake , Doil noticed a black Grand Prix coming west. And from the corner of his eye, to his right, he saw a white Trans Am moving fast from the south. Doil instinctively stepped on his brakes, even though the Trans Am had a red light. Something funny about the speed.

One second later, with the disbelief of seeing someone fall out a window, Doil watched the Trans Am run that red light and plow broadside into the Grand Prix, splitting it in two. There was a loud boom, smashing glass, sparks and smoke and pieces of metal flying.

And then, there was silence.

“God, did you see that!” Doil yelled to his pals. He pulled his blue Oldsmobile to a safe spot, shut off the engine and jumped out. Near the median curb he saw the first body, a young man with blond hair. He was face down in a bloody mess. Doil had never seen a dead person before, but he was pretty sure he was looking at one now.

Just a few feet away, there was another young man, dark-haired. He was facing up, barely breathing. Doil kneeled down and squeezed his hand.

“Hey.” Doil said.

The young man gurgled. There was blood everywhere. Doil saw the eyes close and felt the life slip out of the young man’s fingers. He let them go.

From the middle of the street, he heard the wounded howl of a woman in paid. He ran to join his buddies, who were already around her. It was so eerie, all these bodies in the rain.

“What’s your name?” he asked the woman.

“Lori,” she moaned. She had been driving the white Trans Am, but had been hurled out by the impact. She was bruised and bleeding, in her dying hour. But out of shock, she tried to lift herself, as if to get up to go.

“Stay down,” Doil and his friends kept saying. “You hear the sirens?.Help is coming.Everything will be all right.”

By now, a few other motorists had stopped, and someone shined a flashlight in the woman’s eyes, which kept rolling back in their sockets. Then Doil heard a voice yell, “There’s another one, over here!”

He ran to an area by some small trees, where the back half of the Grand Prix had landed. He swallowed hard. What he saw was the worst of all. It was a girl, or it been a girl, in a plaid shirt and jeans. She lay against the wreckage in a pool of bloody water. A few minutes earlier, Doil guessed, she had been the same as him, alive, laughing, maybe 17 or 18, on her way home for the night.

And now the look.

Drink, drink, drive, die. This is the story of a killer, only the killer is a decision to get behind a wheel. This time it killed in Troy , a place where children still shine, where they leave their parents dazzled by their achievements. Three of the brightest lights you could ever imagine were in that black Grand Prix, that night, sober and happy. And now their fathers cry in the middle of the afternoon, and their mothers wait longingly for them to somehow burst through the door, still young, still laughing.

Drink, drink, drive, die. This is the story of everyone that killer decision destroyed. And what really kills you is that it didn’t have to happen.

Full .pdf of article is available here.

Visit Foundation for Ashley’s Dream.

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Categories: quotes and lyrics
  1. April 3, 2010 at 11:17 am

    thank you for posting this. i knew all three of the victims & this story makes me cry every. single. time. it has been almost 13 years since the accident & yet it strangely feels like yesterday. they are all missed beyond words and most certainly not forgotten, nor can they ever be. thank you for the reminder & thanks to the talented Mitch Album who couldn’t have written it better.

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