Young girl dies after Halloween 'prank' goes wrong
Ashley Wyatt (left) with older sister Tiffany.
October 30, 2009 ·
Earlier this week, 12-year-old Ashley Wyatt died accidentally after she was attempting to play a prank with a rope around her neck as she slipped and fell. Now, her mother is finding some peace through the donation of her daughter’s organs.
A Halloween prank has turned into a real-life nightmare for the family of Ashley Wyatt.
Raleigh County Sheriff Steve Tanner says all the evidence indicates this was a “horrific accident.” But for the girl's family, the nightmare is just beginning.
Patricia Cochran was Ashley’s aunt.
"A little 12-year-old went outside to play outside with her sisters, like she did every day of her life," she said.
"They decided to play a prank and it went tragically, tragically wrong and they ended up with Ashley not being alive."
Ashley’s mother, Angie, donated her daughter’s organs. She says they already saved a 1-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl in Pennsylvania, and a 52-year-old grandmother in Charleston.
The family says the organs are expected to bring life to 7 other people. Cochran says Ashley’s mother believes it’s what her daughter would have wanted.
"To quote Angie she can only imagine the people sitting there in the same condition she was in and just knowing that her child can help them," she said.
It’s a tragedy Ashley’s mother hopes will send a message to others.
"What she wants people to know is ... that this could happen to your child," she said. "Hug your child and kiss them goodnight because you never know."
But this isn’t the first tragedy for the family. They say Ashley’s brother was hit by a motorcycle just last year and her father was recently injured in a trucking accident. He's currently laid off from his job as a strip miner. They’re struggling to find the funds to lay Ashley to rest.
"We’re hoping that we can put a little ease financially so that they can bury their baby, " she said, "so they can start the grieving process and get some normalcy back in their lives."
Donations are being accepted by the Ashley Wyatt Memorial Account at First Century Bank branches throughout the region.