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SAUGUS — A Lynn teen was killed in a head-on crash Wednesday morning following a police pursuit of another driver, who was driving the wrong way on the northbound side of Route 107.
The family of Ashley Forward, 19, identified her as the woman killed in the accident.
Saugus Police Department responded to a report of a robbery at 7-Eleven on Lincoln Avenue at 10:49 a.m. The suspect’s vehicle was located on Ballard Street and an officer pursued it, stopping the pursuit when the vehicle started driving south on the northbound side of 107.
The driver, William Leger, 35, of Somerville, collided head-on with Forward’s vehicle approximately half a mile south of the Ballard Street intersection. Forward died of her injuries at the scene.
Both sides of the highway were closed midday Wednesday during the investigation.
Leger was arrested at the scene and transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Forward graduated from KIPP Academy last year and had just finished her freshman year at Emmanuel College in Boston. She hoped to become a nurse, according to her mother, Michelle Luongo.
“She was taken so early. Why didn’t she have a chance to fight for her life?” Luongo told Channel 7 News. “Now I have to tell my 10-year-old that the sister she looks up to and wants to be like is not around anymore.”
Forward was on her way to see her grandmother, Pat Luongo, when the accident occurred.
The incident remains under investigation by Massachusetts State Police, Saugus Police and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.