NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It has been confirmed that at least one North Texan is among those killed in the storms and tornadoes that swept through Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Ashley Harrison, a senior studying economics at the University of Alabama, was killed. Thursday afternoon a wreath with Ashley’s name hangs on the front door of her parent’s house in east Dallas. Ricky Rodriguez, a neighbor he knew Ashley both as a small child and a beautiful young woman, placed it there.
“I just remember her as a little girl running through the neighborhood, selling Girl Scout cookies and stuff like that and now to be snatched away,” Rodriguez said sadly.
On Wednesday, Ashley was with her boyfriend, inside his off-campus apartment, when a massive tornado pulled her out of his arms.
Neighbors told CBS 11 News, Ashley’s parents couldn’t reach her on Wednesday after news of the tornado spread and learned overnight that her body was found.
The 22-year-old graduated from Ursuline Academy of Dallas in 2007. Early Thursday the school sent out a notice informing faculty and staff of Ashley’s death.
CBS 11 News spoke with the principal of Ursuline Academy, Elizabeth Bourgeois, who said she was “devastated” and remembered Ashley as being “friendly, with an outgoing personality”.
“I cannot fathom that Ashley, who was just such a bubbly, happy, alive young person, is suddenly gone,” said Bourgeois.
On the Ursuline Academy website there is a post asking for prayer for the Harrison family. It reads, “The Ursuline Alumnae community is deeply saddened to learn about the loss of Ashley Harrison ’07, whose life was tragically taken by the tornadoes that destroyed Tuscaloosa, AL yesterday. Ashley was a senior at the University of Alabama. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harrison family as we mourn the loss of a beautiful and charismatic young woman.”
The University of Alabama has canceled students’ final exams and postponed commencement ceremonies for graduating students in the wake of devastating storms that killed dozens across the state.
The school announced both moves in an e-mail and text message to students on Thursday. Commencement has been pushed back from May 7 to August 6.
The storms that rolled through Wednesday flattened homes and businesses and killed at least 250 people in six states.