Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rollover victim, 17, remembered as kind, vibrant

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FRIENDS are remembering a 17-year-old girl who died when a pickup truck hit a hydro pole as an avid soccer player and "a beautiful person, inside and out."

Ashley Schlag, from Oakbank, was about to enter Grade 12 at Glenlawn Collegiate.

"She's a really nice person. When you tell her something you know you can trust her," said Ashley's best friend Jenny Schwindt, 16. "She was nice to everyone. Everyone liked her."

The incident happened around 3:45 p.m. Tuesday. The pickup truck with two occupants was northbound on Highway 206 just south of Dugald, when it rolled and struck a hydro pole, said RCMP spokesman Cpl. Miles Hiebert.

Schlag, the driver, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other female passenger was taken to hospital.

The STARS Air Ambulance was called to the scene but was not used, said Cam Heke, a spokesman for STARS.

Ashley was a dedicated and hard-working person whose passion was soccer, her coach Patrick Di Stefani said.

"She worked hard to get where she wanted," said Di Stefani, head coach of the Winnipeg South End United Soccer Club. "She was telling me she was just happy, you know, happy to be alive."

Di Stefani had been training Ashley for three years at the club. She was also on the Glenlawn Collegiate soccer team, Jenny said.

Ashley had only gotten her driver's licence at the beginning of summer, Jenny said, adding she had driven with her friend before and she was a good driver.

Classmate and friend Tanjit Nagra, 16, said Ashley was a "beautiful person inside and out," who was funny and athletic.

"We'd always get in trouble talking in the back of English class," she remembered.

Tanjit is Glenlawn Collegiate's student president and said she's planning a memorial for Ashley after school starts on Sept 5.

The highway where the crash happened was closed for several hours Tuesday while officials, including an RCMP collision analyst, investigated.

Dugald is about 20 kilometres east of Winnipeg.

jennifer.ford@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 30, 2012 A8

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