Ashley, the youngest of four girls, was born on October 3, 1997 in Price, UT. Ashley was always full of energy and ready to take on the world. A teacher described her as “an explosion of hair and personality.” Nothing slowed her down. She was a senior at Union High School in Roosevelt, UT where she excelled in academics and sports, including tennis and softball. Ashley spared no effort as she ran and dove for those hard hit balls and danced the bases as she hit home runs. She found her love, however, in tennis. Ashley was Union’s number one singles player and captain of the Varsity tennis team. Her goal was to make all the girls, especially the new team members, feel a part of the team. She played hard and expected excellence in herself. She spent hours upon hours improving her skills on the court and put the same energy into finding the perfect college to attend.
Ashley loved being with her friends and three older sisters. She loved laughing and doing crazy things. Life for Ashley was not dull. If there was a spare minute she would fill it. Living in a rural area meant finding friends in neighboring towns; she and her friends would meet in a central location between homes, go on dates and make the drive home afterward. This was the case the afternoon of November 13, 2015. As she was getting ready to leave the house for her double date, she teasingly laughed and flipped her head of blond curls, which her sister had just braided, “Because my hair won’t do anything; but, my complexion is gorgeous!”
That night, as Ashley drove home, she was involved in a fatal head-on collision with a semi-truck. She fell asleep at the wheel, crossing into oncoming traffic. The driver of the truck didn’t have time to react before the impact. His truck caught fire and the cab was completely destroyed. He was lucky enough to escape without injury.
Ashley had just turned 18 the month before. She was so looking forward to graduation and college.
Having Christmas . . . Watching her softball team play without her . . . Seeing her sister marry without one of her bridesmaids . . . Listening, as her best friend spoke of the crazy things they had done together and then reading a funny poem Ashley had written during her Valedictorian speech . . . Seeing her sisters, step siblings, and friends struggle through the sorrow . . . We will always miss her. Our lives and the lives of the community were completely changed that day. Ashley could be described by the words of Shakespeare, “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” Ashley was barely 4’ 11”, but her spirit was mighty. She was a spitfire, who had compassion and love for her family and her friends. Finding others who seemed sad or alone, she would step in and find a new friend.
Lives change so quickly. Our lives changed simply because our beautiful girl was tired. Please, if you’re tired, don’t drive. Accept a ride home with a friend, phone home and change plans, or simply pull over and rest. Returning home safely is far better than pushing to be home on time. Please don’t let these be the unanswered texts on your phone: Text me when you get home, yeah? -11:47 p.m. A cop just passed me in a big hurry, are you alright? -12:05 a.m. Two cops, I’m kind of sweating it out. Are you alright? -12:12 a.m. Please tell me you’re alright -12:22 a.m. Are you okay -12:33 a.m.
In Ashley’s honor, her tennis coach renamed the annual UBIC tennis tournament to the Ashley Hansen Memorial Tennis Tournament and Camp. “To honor our #1 high school player, who tragically passed away in an auto crash this past year. All proceeds from the tournament and camp will be put into a scholarship fund for future players from the Uintah Basin that go on to college and participate on their respective college tennis teams.” How grateful we are as her family to the wonderful people of this community who have shared their love with us. We will always remember you. We love you baby doll!