WEYBURN, Sask. – Three years after her death, we’re learning more about the young woman killed on her first official day on the job as a flag person.
18-year-old Ashley Richards was struck and killed by Keith Dunford while she worked on a highway repair site near Midale in 2012.
Ashley was adopted by Brenda and Thomas Richards when she was ten, along with her identical twin sister and four other siblings.
The family lives in New Brunswick and in a telephone interview with Global News, Brenda said Ashley grew up playing baseball and basketball, dancing and drawing.
Brenda said her daughter had been dating her fiance on and off for a year before the pair moved to Saskatchewan.
They were only in the province for a few weeks before Ashley was killed.
The Richards’ were not in court for Dunford’s trial, but Brenda said that’s because they were not notified.
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She said the crown never contacted her family, not even for victim impact statements.
“We should have been informed, we were her parents, we raised her… We were just left out of the picture,” she said, via phone from New Brunswick. “Us not knowing what’s going on makes it harder to grieve.”
But the mother is trying to forge ahead. She even sent a Facebook message to the accused.
“I sent him a note and I said that I forgave him. I had to, for myself,” she said. “If it was an accident, it was an accident. I don’t know. But he’s got to live with this for the rest of his life, that he’s killed somebody’s child.”
Dunford will be back in court October 13th, when the judge is expected to hand down her decision.
The Richards family isn’t sure if they’ll be able to attend.