Family says Wyandotte High School grad killed in crash was ‘just living her best life’

Ashanti Hill was never one to sit still for long periods of time.

At the age of 19, this individual exudes a vibrant and lively energy, often accompanied by hearty laughter. Having recently graduated from high school, they are embracing life with a joyous spirit.

In Kansas City, tragedy struck in early October when Shanti Hill, as she was fondly known by those close to her, lost her life in a devastating crash that also claimed the lives of her 19-year-old and 17-year-old companions. The incident was heartbreaking and left many in mourning. A link to the news article reporting this unfortunate event can be found here:

According to 51-year-old LaTania Moore, her niece, originally from Kansas City, Kansas, was a very warm and loving child, always eager to greet her family members with a hug and a kiss.

According to Moore, until now, the young girl would simply climb onto her mother’s bed, embrace her, and shower her with compliments about her beauty and expressions of love.

According to her obituary, Hill was a former cheerleader at Northwest Middle School. She recently graduated from Wyandotte High School in May 2022. Additionally, Hill was an active member of Forest Grove Baptist Church.

Moore shared that as she entered into her young adult years, Hill radiated with beauty. Despite being petite in size, Hill held a passion for styling her hair and applying makeup, which ultimately led her towards a path in the beauty and modeling industry, according to Moore.

At only 26 years old, Raeshawn Hill is the second-oldest sibling in a family of five. She often finds herself joking about the noticeable age gap between herself and her sister Ashanti Hill.

When the elder sister catches a glimpse of Hill in a bar, she playfully remarks that she’s too old to keep up with her lively younger sister and walks right out.

During their family dinners on Sundays, if everyone sat around for too long, Ashanti Hill’s sister recalls that she would urge them to do something by saying “Get up. Let’s do something!”

Ashanti Hill was an expert in turning a family dinner into a lively party. Her love for hop hop and R&B music was evident through her dancing skills. Her family members remembered her fondness for dressing up in stunning outfits for a night out on the town. Ashanti was a true expressionist who loved to showcase her personality through her fashion sense.

Raeshawn Hill spoke fondly of her sister, stating that she was simply enjoying life to the fullest. Her sister would have celebrated her 20th birthday on New Year’s Day.

Ashanti Hill was not just focused on her professional life, she also held her family and future in high regard.

According to her sister, Hill adhered to a rigorous budget while working at Dave’s Hot Chicken and a temp agency to save up for a car.

Whenever Raeshawn Hill required someone to look after her son while she worked, her loving niece Ashanti Hill was always there to lend a helping hand. And when their grandmother was too weak to climb the stairs on her own, Hill would offer her support and bring her meals.

According to Raeshawn Hill, the dependable one who would always lend a helping hand was none other than her. Whenever someone needed assistance in figuring things out, she was the go-to person for them. Her reliability and willingness to assist others made her a valuable asset to the people around her.

The Crash

According to the police report, Raeshawn Hill was driving a black Ford Taurus north on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard at a high speed, just before 1 a.m. on Oct. 1. Unfortunately, she lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree near East 45th Terrace. These details were confirmed by the authorities at the time, and Raeshawn has also been informed of the same information.

Aria Mia Gonzalez, aged 17, occupied the front passenger seat while Aniyah Lewis, aged 19, was seated at the back. They all hailed from Kansas City, Kansas.

According to Hill’s family, the trio were friends, but it is unclear for how long they had been acquainted.

Despite multiple attempts to reach out, The Star was unable to connect with Lewis’ family. Similarly, the family of Gonzalez respectfully declined an interview on the matter. However, it was revealed through a GoFundMe page created for her, that the brave teenager had previously battled cancer and was also a devoted mother to her young daughter.

According to a GoFundMe campaign set up by her loved ones, Aria Mia Gonzalez was a cherished family member and friend who brought immense joy to everyone around her. She was a true warrior who conquered many challenging obstacles. She was first diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, a rare type of cancer, in November 2018, just after celebrating her 14th birthday. Another GoFundMe campaign established earlier had the same information about her diagnosis.

While at work, Raeshawn Hill received the shocking news about the crash.

In disbelief, she exclaimed, “I can’t believe this is true.” The enormity of the situation was still sinking in for her.

Despite the passing of time, the absence of her beloved sister is still felt by Hill’s family. Her young son wakes up every morning asking for his aunt, who used to assist him in getting ready for school. Hill finds herself reflexively reaching for her phone to send her sister amusing videos over Facebook, only to remember that she is no longer there. The pain of losing a loved one can linger for years, and the memories they leave behind can be bittersweet reminders of what once was.

As the candlelight vigil was held at the site where the tragic crash took place, Hill was surprised to see a significant number of people who knew her sister. The event was marked with an outpouring of support, and the sale of t-shirts with Ashanti Hill’s image raised an impressive sum of over $10,000.

A tragic incident occurred where Dabria Culclager, aged 30, was a passenger in a car. Unfortunately, she passed away the next day. Along with her, the driver and four young children who were seated at the back, aged between 2 and 8, were severely injured. It was a devastating event that left many in shock and sorrow.

Moore, who experienced the heart-wrenching loss of her own son back in 2016, understands just how precious life truly is. She strongly advocates for spreading love and kindness to everyone we encounter, whether they are familiar faces or strangers. Moore reminds us all to cherish every moment we have with those we care about and to show them how much they mean to us. “Love on each other,” she says, “whether you know them or not. Let love be the guiding force in our lives.”

MBS Staff
MBS Staff
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