‘She enjoyed life to the fullest’: 22-year-old woman killed in motorcycle accident


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 12:58 pm on Thursday, July 10, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS — Ashley Drake was an intoxicating mixture of bubbly and bullheaded.

She loved writing and fishing. She loved 4-H and her dog, Riley.

And she loved a good adventure.

Drake, 22, took a road trip down to Tennessee with her boyfriend, Kyle Lovell, also 22. They were having fun and the three-day trip turned into a five-day trip. They were finally headed home on Saturday evening, riding Lovell’s 2009 Yahama motorcycle eastbound on I-70 to the ramp at I-465 near Indianapolis.

Ashley Drake

According to an Indiana State Police investigation, Drake adjusted her seating on the motorcycle, which caused Lovell to lose control of the bike, which struck a guardrail.

Drake, who was wearing a helmet, was thrown from the motorcycle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lovell, who was also wearing a helmet, was transported to a hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Drake, who was residing in Six Lakes, leaves behind her parents, Victoria and Bill Knapp and William and Michelle Drake, siblings, Lacey and Jake Drake and Aaron and Alec Gunn, and many other relatives.

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy,” said Bill Knapp of losing his stepdaughter. “Most people who met her never forgot her. She enjoyed life.”

Vicky Knapp said her daughter brought light with her wherever she went.

“Ash was a light in this world,” she said. “She had this strong, bubbly personality, always a beautiful smile, and she loved to laugh. She enjoyed her life to the fullest and had a passion for it that most never know in an entire lifetime.

“She is my best friend, my baby girl, my heart and my world,” she said. “I am so very lost without her. Her spirit is great and I feel her all around me.”

Drake graduated from Morley-Stanwood High School in 2010. She was currently a student at Central Michigan University and worked at Alleycat Bar & Grill in Lakeview. Drake was a longtime member of the Winfield Hustlers 4-H Club and she continued to volunteer her time with 4-H as recently as last month when she helped announce the livestock auction at the Montcalm County 4-H Fair, and then hung out with her friends at the dairy barn.

“She really enjoyed the fair,” said Winfield Hustlers club leader and 4-H board member Lisa Johnson. “All of the Winfield Hustlers, it’s a sad thing for them. She was a big part of our club. The Winfield Hustlers and the Amble community are stunned and aching for her family.”

A memorial service for Drake will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Fremont Wesleyan Church. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home in Fremont.

Memorials may be made to the Winfield Hustlers 4-H Club for the Ashley Drake Memorial.

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