Bedford Co. Community Gathers at Vigil to Remember Ashley Barton

Bedford Co., VA - A community came together Monday to mourn and remember a 17-year-old Staunton River High School student killed in an accident.

Ashley Barton died in a car accident Sunday night on Route 24.

Everyone said it was difficult when two seniors, Jacob Baird and Katie Thurston, passed away in a car accident just last week. But now, with Barton, the third student to pass in less than a week, this community is suffering like never before.

Hundreds of students, parents and teachers came out to show their support for Barton's family and friends at a vigil Monday night. Each held a candle in her honor.

The dark sky turned bright for a brief moment in front of the high school where Barton was a senior.

"So many people here loved her. And they will always remember her, with that beautiful smile," said Barton's grandmother Shirley Jordan.

"Her joyful smile, beautiful laugh. She's left that challenge for us, to carry on her good name to everybody and let them know. I'm hoping tonight, that we can set aside everything that's done happened, and focus that we are a team, we're a family, we're the eagles, and once an eagle always an eagle. You never fly alone, even with broken wings,"said Remi Whorley, Barton's friend.

Students do not have classes this week, however the school was open Monday night. Students were encouraged to come receive grief counseling if they needed it.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Barton. Her visitation is set for Friday, November 16 at Oakey's Funeral Home in Vinton. Her funeral is noon Saturday at Goodview Baptist Church.