Candlelight Vigil For Ashley Paine

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

Oak Ridge (WVLT) - The memory and spirit of 12-year-old Ashley Paine shined in the flames of candles.

Ashley died after a school bus ran over her in Oak Ridge one week ago. Friday night, parents and students lined the Illinois Ave and Oak Ridge Turnpike intersection where she was hit. They said prayers, shared hugs, and sang "Amazing Grace."

Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy was there as the candles were lit.

Is it any easier for them now? Not at all, especially when some saw the accident. They say Friday was about coming back and vowing not to forget this week.

Week-old images still bringing fresh tears.

"I watched her lose her life here," witness Patrick Futtrel said.

Patrick Futtrel held 12-year-old Ashley Paine after a school bus ran over her last Friday. She died Sunday.

"People don't understand what kind of burden you've got on you when you see something like that happen," Futtrel said.

All week Oak Ridge parents and students lined the Illinois Ave and Oak Ridge Turnpike intersection. Holding signs...building a memorial....remembering Ashley.

"She loved the kids at her school, many she's close to. We've had them calling in and many have come to the hospital to say their goodbyes," grandmother Judy Price said.

From Ashley's goodbye came new life for 12-year-old Jordon Hensley.

"I feel really bad because her parents lost her, and it saved my life," Hensley said.

She's alive because of her new heart. The spirit of Ashley....beating inside her.

"It just broke my heart. I was very happy for my daughter, but my heart just ached for that family," mother Jordon's mother, Jessica Hensley, said.

The Paine family held Ashley's funeral Thursday night.

Now one week later, it all comes back to where it all began. Friday, students and parents held candles just feet away from where Ashley was hit.

Her spirit and memory flickering in every flame.

"If it was another child, Ashley would be out here doing the same thing for another child. So I'm here for her," friend Amber McDaniel said.

The love for Ashley passed candle to candle.

"She's still here, but inside something else," Futtrel said.

Giving life to Jordon and memories to her friends.

The Paine family also hosted a rootbeer float social at Robertsville Middle School. Rootbeer and ice cream were two of Ashley's favorite things.

If you'd like to help Ashley's family, donations can be made in her name to Calvary Baptist Church in Oak Ridge.

As for Jordon Hensley's family, you can make a donation at any Bank of America in her name.


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