SAUGUS, Mass. — 19-year-old Ashley Forward, of Lynn is dead after a wrong-way driver collided head-on with her vehicle on Route 107 in Saugus as he was fleeing a robbery, according to police.
At 10:49 a.m. Wednesday, Saugus police were called to the 7-Eleven on Lincoln Avenue for a report of an unarmed robbery. A description of the vehicle was relayed to responding officers, and a Saugus officer spotted the vehicle on Ballard Street.
When the officer attempted to stop the suspect, he fled, police said. The car pulled onto Route 107, traveling south in the northbound lanes, police said.
The suspect’s vehicle collided with another vehicle head-on, killing the driver. From Sky5, two sedans with heavy damage could be seen, with debris scattered across the roadway.
The family of the victim has identified the 19-year-old as Ashley Forward, of Lynn. Forward’s mother, Michelle Luongo, says her daughter was on her way home to get her Target work uniform when the deadly crash happened.
Luongo says her daughter was just wrapping up her first year of college and had dreams of being a politician, but changed her focus to nursing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“She was so headstrong and wanted to do so much. I was so proud of her. She made me proud every day, and I’m going to miss that the most,” Luongo said.
William Leger, 35, of Somerville, was arrested on scene and taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The exact charges Leger is facing in connection with the robbery and the crash have yet to be announced by authorities.
“I just hope he gets what he deserves because Ashley will never another day of her life because of somebody’s stupidity,” Luongo said.
The crash is being investigated by Massachusetts State Police, Saugus police and the Essex District Attorney’s Office.