Friends say Hanover teen killed in New York crash ‘was a light in everyone’s life’

Hanover County

16-year-old was 1 of 4 teens killed in weekend collision

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Hanover County student was one of the four teens killed in a car crash in western New York over the weekend.

Sixteen-year-old Ambra E. Eddleton, who was a rising junior at Patrick Henry High School, was a passenger in a vehicle that struck a tree in Allegany County early Saturday, killing her and three other teenagers.

According to New York State Police, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee didn’t stop for a stop sign and ran through an intersection. The jeep then hit a tree before coming to stop down an embankment.

Eddleton was a gymnast who, according to her friends at All-American Gymnasium in Ashland, was always the last one to leave the gym.

“She was a light in the gym,” Maddie Rich said. “I’m glad we did get to know her because she was a light in everyone’s life.”

Ana Belle Bergeron added, “It doesn’t feel real yet. I haven’t processed it.”

A great friend and gymnast, Eddleton’s peers say she set an example for everyone to follow.

“She could come in one day and just bust out her routine like a champ,” Rich said. “We’re all going to miss that.”

Stella Bota added, “She’s an inspirational person. She was always so happy.”

Eddleton’s coach, Noa Simmons, echoed the same sentiments as her gymnasts.

“She was the first friend I made in the gym,” Simmons said. “I remember meeting her on the beam, she just made me really happy. She was a nice person to everyone.”

The three other teenagers killed have been identified as 16-year-old Rebecca L. Earner, 14-year-old Justin D. Carpenter, and 14-year-old Kyrstin L. Wolfanger, all of Dansville, NY. The front-seat passenger, Kelsi A. Bird, 16, also of Dansville, NY, was taken to the hospital with multiple non-life threatening injuries and was the only person wearing a seat belt during the crash, New York State Police said.

Top left: Becca Farmer; top right: Kyrstin Wolfanger; bottom left; Justin Carpenter; bottom right: Kelsi Bird – survivor

Patrick Henry High School Principal Chris Martinez sent a letter to parents and guardians notifying them of the “incredibly painful” news.

“Ambra was a very caring and energetic soul, and she will be sorely missed. Her life ended too soon. Ambra will always be a part of the PH family. For those of you who knew Ambra, we ask that you remember and celebrate her commitment to her fellow Patriots as well as her dedication to cheering, gymnastics, and many other after-school activities at PH. For those of you who did not know Ambra, we ask that you respect our sadness and support us with your understanding and patience as we navigate through this heartache,” he wrote.

School counselors at Patrick Henry will be available to provide assistance to students who may support, Martinez said. Those counselors can be reached at (804) 365-8020.

A celebration of life is also scheduled for 2 p.m. this Saturday at River of Life Church.

Stay with 8News for updates.

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