Father of Ashlynn Smith, 18, announces ATV safety campaign after Nassau County teen’s death

NASSAU, Fla. — Loved ones and family members say Ashlynn Smith, 18, died Monday morning of injuries she’d suffered in an ATV crash on May 9.

“I’m absolutely heartbroken today. My beautiful amazing Ashlynn Smith has home to Heaven today,” said Smith’s father in a Facebook post on Monday. Smith was less than a month away from graduating from West Nassau High School.

Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said Smith was a passenger on the ATV that crashed into a fence around 12:36 a.m. May 9.

A 20-year-old man was also hurt in the crash on private property off Old Dixie Highway.

Tuesday, Action News Jax went to ‘Small Town Rags Boutique & Gifts,’ where owner Ashton Whiston says shirts are being made in Smith’s honor.

Whiston says proceeds from the t-shirts will be given to Smith’s family to help cover the 18-year-old’s medical expenses.

She says Smith had worked at the boutique for about two years. “Our little town has taken a lot recently, so we’re all just trying to find the silver lining,” said Whiston.

Smith’s friend, Mia Cribbs, spoke to Action News Jax as she helped make t-shirts. “She was so good at making you feel so loved by her,” said Cribbs.

Smith had most recently worked at the Beauty Loft Salon in Callahan as an eyelash technician.

Whiston says Smith had a love for cosmetology, which is why the t-shirts include an eyelash design.

“We really enjoyed having her with us,” said salon owner, Sarah Dixon. “She definitely brightened our day.”

FHP says ATV riders under 16 must wear a helmet and eye protection.

Now, Ashlynn’s father says he’s beginning a safety campaign called “promise Ashlynn,” to encourage ATV riders to wear helmets.

“I am starting a campaign called ‘PromiseAshlynn.’ I want everyone, especially kids to ‘PromiseAshlynn’ they will wear a helmet while operating or riding on any ATV or motorcycle,” said Ashlyn’s father on Facebook.

Whiston spoke to Action News Jax about the campaign on behalf of Ashlynn’s family.

“That they will ‘promise Ashlynn’ to wear a helmet while they are riding an ATV or riding a motorcycle,” said Whiston.


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