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Death

Ashton Sweet, OC Cheerleader Left Brain-Dead by Alleged Drunk Driver, to be Organ Donor

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Thu, Jun 2, 2011 at 5:13 PM
click to enlarge Ashton Sweet, forever young, victim of a drunk driver.
  • Ashton Sweet, forever young, victim of a drunk driver.

Update: Following Sweet's death and a not guilty plea from 26-year-old Austin Jeffrey Farley, accused in the DUI murder of the teen, the OC Register reports that her mom has donated the girl's heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas to six patients.

Ashton Sweet smiles in the photograph, gorgeous with her long dark blond hair and almond eyes. A jerk in a truck, Austin Farley, guilty of drunk driving two years ago, allegedly collided with the Mercedes in which Sweet and her friends were being ferried home from a late party by one of the girl's fathers. It all seemed so safe. Now Sweet's brain is too severely damaged for any hope of recovery.

A cheerleader and popular track athlete at Northwood High School, Sweet's absurdly short life will be noted Tuesday, May 31, at the Irvine, Orange County, high school -- where everyone is asked to wear white, not black. Her Facebook memorial page has 1,267 friends.

According to KABC in initial reports yesterday:

Authorities said 48-year-old Irvine resident Michael Ghaemi was driving a late-model Mercedes-Benz with two 14-year-old girls and two15-year-old girls to his home from a party when they were hit by 26-year-old Austin Farley.

All five in the Mercedes were transported to area hospitals. The 14-year-old girl, Ashton Sweet, was left nearly lifeless. One of the 15-year-old girls is in critical condition but is expected to survive. The other two girls and Ghaemi were treated and released.

The OC Register updates today with further details on the drunk driving history of Farley, the name of the other girl left in critical condition last night who is expected to survive, and a report on the vigil held Sunday night.

Northwood High School celebrates its senior prom on June 4 against a backdrop of tragedy.

First posted at 2:36 p.m. on Monday, May 30.

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