As the first anniversary of her death approaches, the family of Douglas High graduate Ashley Browder has put plans in motion as a tribute to their daughter and sister.
Browder, 21, was killed Feb. 10, 2013, in Albuquerque, N.M., after an off-duty police officer ran a red light and collided with the vehicle her sister was driving.
Ashley was killed immediately, and her sister, Lindsay, now 20, was critically injured.
The officer, Adam Casaus, has been fired by the Albuquerque Police Department. He was set to go on trial Monday on a charge of vehicular homicide, but the proceeding has been delayed until April.
The Browder family issued a statement this week through their attorney, Erik Thunberg, of Albuquerque.
“The loss of our beloved Ashley has filled our hearts with grief and sorrow. This year has been very difficult for our family.
“As we approach the anniversary of the accident, we focus on Lindsay’s continued recovery from her injuries and the upcoming criminal trial.
“It is our hope that this case will raise awareness for all law enforcement agencies to re-evaluate their pursuit, response, and off-duty policies to prevent another senseless death or injury.
“We wish to express our sincere gratitude to our family, friends, and the Nevada and New Mexico Air National Guard for their unwavering support during this difficult time. We would also like to thank the law enforcement officers and first responders who cared for Lindsay and Ashley after the accident.”
Ashley’s mother, Donna, said a cross would be placed in Albuquerque at the crash site, and a memorial bench is to be dedicated in Gardnerville along Highway 395.
The Browders also are creating a website, ashleybrowderactsofkindness.com.
“This is the way we want people to remember her and do simple things for others — if that means helping an elderly person load groceries or buying someone coffee,” Donna Browder said.
“We want to know about it, you would log on and let us know how Ashley touched your life,” she said.
The website should be launched within a few days, Donna Browder said.
Ashley Browder, a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, was buried at Eastside Memorial Park with full military honors. She was a 2009 graduate of Douglas High School.
At the time of her death, Ashley was in the process of moving to Albuquerque, and transfering to the New Mexico Air National Guard.