It has been a tragic weekend for family and friends of a Valley teenager.
Ashley Core, 16, of Surprise, was killed Saturday in an ATV accident near Lake Pleasant.
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Pacey said it happened at about 12:30 p.m. on Highway 74, about 11 miles east of Morristown.
Her grandfather, Larry Core, told CBS5 News the Willow Canyon High School sophomore was riding with a friend, who was on another ATV.
The friend reportedly told her to wait for him to give her the OK to cross, but she went prematurely and was hit by an SUV.
According to Larry Core, Ashley was not an experienced ATV operator and even though she was wearing a helmet, she was likely killed instantly.
Her loss is felt deeply by those who knew and loved her.
"It broke my heart and made me cry honestly," said Ashley's friend, Alec Creasey. "Because it just hurt losing someone that can be so nice to so many people."
Alec met Ashley at Willow Canyon High School in August.
He'd just moved to town and didn't know anyone.
Ashley was the first to offer him friendship.
"She was always just smiling," said Alec. "She'd always be able to put a smile on someone else's face and she was just a really nice person."
News of Ashley's untimely death was also a blow to Savannah Schumacher, one her closest friends.
"I didn't want to believe it," she said. "So, to get myself to stop crying - I finally just pictured, you know, I'm going to see her on Monday - even though I know it's not going to happen."
To help deal with her grief, Savannah set up a Facebook page in memory of Ashley where many people are offering words of comfort.
"She just started working a new job here at Safeway, just got her license, just started driving, had a brand new boyfriend - she was doing well in school," her cousin, Laura Stevenson, reflected.
Stevenson said this will be a tough holiday season for her family.
"We talked about that today," she said. "Still getting Ashley Christmas gifts and wrapping them and probably taking them to a group home for other girls her age - and giving those gifts to them in Ashley's memory."
Donation jars have been placed at the Safeway on Bell Road and Cotton Lane, where Ashley worked, to help pay for her funeral expenses.
If you'd like to help her family out, you can also contact Stevenson at Laura1SLP@yahoo.com.
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