Nineteen-year-old Ashlee Sokalski of Chesterfield Township, the state’s top women’s motocross rider, was competing in the National Amateur Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, west of Nashville, Tennessee.
Her 17-year old sister, Amanda, explains what happened in last week’s race. “She got tangled with someone in the air, and she fell, but she was actually getting back up and someone hit her,” she said.
After driving down to Tennessee, Amanda returned to Michigan after her sister began showing signs of improvement. But, when doctors noticed Ashlee taking turns for the worst, Amanda flew down to be by her sister’s side.
“I went in and saw her, and I knew it was bad. We all thought she was going to pull through. She fought really hard. I just couldn’t believe it,” Sokalski said.
Amanda arrived at the hospital just minutes before her sister
died. “Her heart rate was under 30 for about three hours. She waited for me and she heard my voice and she went right away,” Sokalski said.
Amanda says she and her sister had raced for seven years because it was in their blood. “I was ten and she was twelve. My dad, he used to ride a lot. He used to ride us around in the yard on his dirt bikes and we just kind of got into it. We love it.”
Amanda says they’ll organize a benefit for Ashlee, and after a victory lap, she’ll park her racing bike for good.
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