From Staff Reports
An auto accident during the morning hours of Friday, June 10, has claimed the life of Ashlie Padgett, a Unicoi County teen described as a “true friend” and a “special, special young lady.”
Director of Schools John English said Padgett graduated from Unicoi County High School last month. A three-sport athlete, she was voted on by the school’s coaches as female athlete of the year. She played basketball, softball and volleyball.
“I had the privilege of being her principal in middle school,” English said. “Without a doubt, she had the sweetest disposition of any student I have been around. She was a special, special young lady.”
English said Padgett will also be remembered for her smile.
“So many people talk about her smile,” he said. “It was absolutely infectious. It would light up any place she was.”
English also said the “unbelievable outpouring of support” for Padgett’s family is a testament to her character.
“Ashlie was good to everybody,” he said. “She didn’t have any enemies. Everybody liked Ashlie.
“On behalf of the entire school system, I want to extend our thoughts and prayers to Ashlie’s family and friends. We will support them anyway we can.”
Kerri King, who coached Padgett on the Lady Blue Devil basketball team, remembers Padgett for her dedication to her friends and teammates.
“Ashlie’s physical attributes were obvious; she was gorgeous, smart and extremely athletic,” King said. “However, her more genuine gifts were her commitment to her teammates, loyalty to her friends, protectiveness of her sister, adoration for children and an ability to connect with people of any age.
“I was her coach, but I know she was my true friend.”
A Go Fund Me campaign is underway to raise financial support for her family. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com and search “Prayers for Ashlie.” Corner Grill in Erwin donated a portion of its sales from Tuesday, June 14, to the family. Other businesses are collecting funds as well.
English said counselors were available at UCHS on Tuesday for students who wished to gather there.
The accident is reportedly under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators could not be reached for comment prior to The Erwin Record’s press deadline for the June 15 issue