Orange County Register | Brian Martinez
IRVINE – Hundreds gathered at Irvine Boulevard and Culver Drive on Tuesday night to mark the one-year anniversary of a crash at that intersection that killed Northwood High School freshman Ashton Sweet.
Friends, family, classmates and well-wishers lighted more than 100 candles in her memory. Many of the candles, along with pink and white roses and rose petals, were placed on mirrors around the crepe myrtle tree the city planted there in Sweet's honor.
The 14-year-old cheerleader died when a man suspected of drunken driving with a previous DUI conviction is said to have driven his pickup into the sedan she was riding in on Memorial Day weekend. The driver, Austin Jeffrey Farley, is charged with murder in her death.
"Ashton Sweet will never be forgotten," her friend, Amber Aviles, said at the vigil. "She was such a happy, beautiful person who affected so many lives for the better. She will be forever missed. And everyone knows she is watching over us."
Aviles' parents, Hiram and Diane Aviles, also paid their respects. They knew the four girls in the crash as well as the father who was driving them.
"We're here to celebrate a great life that was tragically lost," Hiram Aviles said.
"She was so well-liked, and she accepted all of her friends unconditionally," said Diane Aviles. "She was a sweet, sweet young girl." The crash, just after 1 a.m. May 29, injured three other teenage girls and the Irvine dad who has driving them back from his daughter's 15th birthday celebration.
Read more: http://www.ocregister.com/news/ashton-356455-driving-sweet.html