AGAWAM, Mass. — The last gift Ashley Turniak left for her teacher Dawn Fisher was a wink.
Fisher told more than 300 mourners at Turniak's memorial service Friday that Fisher's young daughter winked for the first time three days ago, a trick she'd spent weeks mastering. It was the same kind of wink that Turniak, the 16- year-old junior, used to throw Fisher in the hallways of Agawam High School.
``Ashley sent me her wink, to let me know everything would be OK,''said Fisher, an English teacher who remembered Turniak for her ability to befriend people of all ages. More than 300 friends and family joined together, packing the viewing room and overflowing into the funeral home lobby during the 45-minute service.
Turniak died Monday morning after spilling out of a car window and onto I- 91 in Massachusetts. The death of the teenager from the Feeding Hills section of Agawam mystifies friends, family, and police,who don't know whether she jumped, fell or was pushed from the car.
State police detectives said Friday they are continuing to investigate. Police have made no arrests.
``We'd like to know what happened, if there was any foul play,'' said Annette Turniak, Ashley's mother.
Or, as a letter attached to a picture board beside the casket, asked: ``WHY?''
The memorial service combined poetry, singing and speeches in tribute to the girl with the sweet smile.
The small details were among the most poignant -- the black ribbons with the inscription ``We miss our homey, Ashley R.I.P.'' printed on them; the handwritten notes, the flowers, and the teddy bear joining Turniak in her casket and the heady scent from the bouquets of red and pink-tipped roses.
High school junior Carianne Bussolari sobbed as she talked about good times with Turniak, from camping to the first day of school. ``I know she's a guardian angel taking care of us now,'' Bussolari said. ``Ashley, I love you.''
After the memorial, students -- some wearing black clothing, others in blue jeans -- formed a line that stretched out the door and into the lobby. Many kneeled before the casket for a final moment with Turniak, and others shared their memories.
``That's us at the semi-formal, she's wearing my shorts in that picture, and I took that picture,'' said a curly-haired teenage girl, pointing to photos of Turniak at play. She paused and turned to the boy beside her. ``I can't believe this is happening,''she said.
The flag hung at half staff at the high school, which is across the street from the funeral home. After the service, grief counselors were on hand for students in the school cafeteria.
Many friends, family, and students met afterward in the common room in Pheasant Hill Village condominiums, where the Turniaks lived for the past 12 years. Neighbors prepared lunch for nearly 100 guests.
``The support is overwhelming,''Annette Turniak said, as she sat comforting one of her daughter's friends. ``She's gone, but I will always smile when I think of her. She's right here in my heart.''
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