SMITHS STATION, AL (WXTX) - The tree which lead to the deaths of two east Alabama teenagers has been cut down. The land owner allowed family and friends to take down the tree Wednesday, saying they didn't want it to be a constant reminder of the spot that claimed two young lives.
Balloons, cards, and crosses have been placed at the spot where Ashley Arrowsmith and Carlie Lloyd lost their lives on Flournoy Road in Salem.
Carlie had the last race with her horse Pep on Saturday night. The next day, her life would end just a few miles from her home. "So many people loved and will miss Carlie, because she was such an outgoing, outspoken, fun-loving, young, beautiful girl," Sarah Hunter said.
Smith Station Freshman Center Principal, Jason Wright, said Ashley was a very well-rounded student. "She was a very solid academic student, who had a lot of opportunities for social interactions and a lot of friends."
Coroner Arthur Sumbry told FOX 54 that both girls died from blunt force trauma to the head when their truck went off the road, overturned, and struck a tree.
Carlie was laid to rest Wednesday afternoon. After the funeral service, friends came out to lay flowers and cards at the tree that her truck plowed into.
"She loved riding horses more than anything. She lived to go ride her horse Pep and go barrel riding on the weekends," Hunter said.
The grief counselors have been on hand all week to help students cope with the loss.
"There were a lot of tears and students walking the hallways... She had a number of friends here," Wright said.
Though Ashley and Carlie are gone, friends say they try not to be sad because it's not what either of the girls would have wanted.
"She's got a huge heart. She doesn't want us to cry over her. She knows that we care, and we love her, she just wants us to be strong," said Hunter about Carlie.
A memorial barrel racehas been set up in their honor. Theevent is set for June 23 in Phenix City in the same location as the Bratton AutomotiveRodeo. Money raised from the event will go to help the families of both girlswith funeral expenses.
Funeral services for Ashleywill be held Thursday at 1 p.m. in Smiths Station at Philadelphia Baptist Church.