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‘We’re lost’: Trooper, family want to memorialize teen son killed in crash

Updated December 15, 2022 - 10:20 pm

Ashton Hynd was on his way back to Las Vegas the Monday after Thanksgiving. The Northern Arizona University freshman was debating if college was right for him.

“He wanted to do more,” his father, Mark Hynd, said in an interview Wednesday. “He always aspired to do wrestling. It was his passion. He wanted to coach and be involved with the sport again.”

But the 18-year-old would not make it home that afternoon. A memorial now rests an hour outside of Las Vegas at a gas station in White Hills, Arizona.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety told Mark Hynd, who is a Nevada State Police trooper, that his son’s Fiat was smashed under a semi-truck on Nov. 28 after the truck made a left turn in front of his son’s car.

“It turned his car into a convertible,” Mark Hynd said.

The family is still waiting for details from Arizona authorities, but Mark Hynd said he will never forget the moment that two women from the Maricopa County medical examiner’s office came to his door to tell him bluntly that his son had died.

The Department of Public Safety could not be reached for comment on the crash.

On Wednesday, Hynd drove to Kingman for the eighth time since his son died to retrieve belongings and clean up the memorial at the gas station.

“Oddly it’s like my image of hell,” Hynd said, crying from while driving on the same road where his son died. “I don’t know, it’s like weird, when I go I feel like some sort of bond with him. I don’t know, just to picture this is the last thing he saw.”

Ashton Hynd spent his early childhood in Ohio before his family moved to Las Vegas. He attended Centennial High School until his senior year, when his family moved closer to Shadow Ridge High School. Ashton Hynd spent his senior year at Shadow Ridge so his brother, who was a freshman at the time, would not be alone in the new school, their father said.

On Facebook, Hynd’s former youth football coach in Ohio, Janine Albert, called the teen a vibrant, hardworking young man.

“Your character and politeness is a direct result of your parents doing a fantastic job in raising you,” the post read. “Your smile was contagious and could brighten a room. You touched many people in your short time.”

Now, the Hynd family is trying to find a way to memorialize the teen with a legacy that would have made him proud.

“We’re lost,” Hynd said. “We’re trying to find a route to still honor him and not like he’s gone. The last thing we can do is have it be the end of our family.”

The Hynds, including Ashton’s mother, Angela Hynd, and 15-year-old brother, Braylon Hynd, are considering starting college scholarships for wrestlers and creating a clothing brand in their son’s name. Mark Hynd said that his son was his best friend and they often went to hip-hop concerts together, most recently Nas and the Wu Tang Clan in October.

The family plans to celebrate Ashton Hynd’s life on his 19th birthday, at 6 p.m. Dec. 23, with an ugly sweater contest and lantern lighting at Palm Mortuary-Jones.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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