Middleton remembers sisters killed in crash
Middleton basketball team remembers teammate who died in car crash Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
A series of Middleton-Caldwell basketball games began with a moment of silence Friday night.
"The impact was in the driver's side door of the car," said an Idaho State Police trooper on scene the night of the collision.
Seventeen-year-old-senior Ashton Braden and her 6-year-old little sister Sophia died Thursday when their vehicle collided with a manure truck.
"She was always just laughing and joking around with her friends,” classmate Max Foote said.. “She was very loving and caring."
Foote and Joseph Valencia knew Ashton as a friend of their friend and teammate.
"I know if Mitchell were here, he would just say how much he loved Ashton,” Valencia said. “They were great friends. He's going through a rough time. So keep him and Ashton and their family in your prayers."
Unfortunately Ashton and Sophia's death does reflect a greater trend: Teenage drivers make up a tiny percentage of Idahoans behind the wheel, but account for nearly 14 percent of injury-and-fatality crashes in the state, making teens more than two and a half times as likely to wreck and get hurt.
"The biggest factor is their attitudes," said driving instructor Jinny Porter.
Porter spoke not of kids with "good" or "bad" attitudes, but instead of habits young drivers glean from adults.
"Teach the parents how to be a little more helpful as they're driving," she said.
Porter has taught teenagers to drive for nearly 25 years. Of the thousands she's instructed, none have died behind the wheel.
"We always look for the name," she said.
With new distractions and more cars on the road, Porter views her role today as more important than ever.
"Help them realize how important it is to wear seatbelts and to not text," she said.
"You know, whenever I see her in school and in the hallways she always has a smile on her face," Valencia said, "and always looks like she wants to have fun."