Ashley Baustert, the mother of Madison Brooks, the 19-year-old Louisiana State University student who was fatally struck by a car in January after allegedly surviving a rape, has started a foundation in Madison’s honor and revealed to Fox News Digital the details of their brief final text exchange.
Brooks was struck by a car while walking on Burbank Drive in Baton Rouge at about 3 a.m. on January 15. Police did not charge the driver in the fatality.
At 11:38 p.m. on January 14, Brooks was at Reggie’s Bar and texted, “I love you!!!” Baustert told Fox News Digital.
Hours later, authorities informed Baustert her daughter had been in a serious accident. Family members raced to the hospital and had mere minutes with her daughter before she died.
When Ashley Baustert, Mandy LeBlanc and her brother went to Reggie’s bar to retrieve Brooks’ purse, they found her phone and “immediately knew that foul play was involved.”
“I knew something terrible happened,” Baustert told Fox News, adding, “based on the circumstances of how she was hit, where she was, the time and her being alone.”
“We were like, there’s no way Madi put herself at three in the morning on the parkway in that neighborhood without her phone,” Baustert explained.
Investigators later determined that Brooks entered a vehicle with four young men after texting her mother.
Reportedly, at the time of her death, Brooks’ blood-alcohol content was .319%, almost four times the legal limit to drive.
The men driving the vehicle Brooks entered — Kaivon Deondre Washington, 18; Everett Lee, 28; Casen Carver, 18; and Desmond Carter, 17 — reported that Madison asked them for a ride and invited them to share in a sexual encounter.
The four surrendered to police several days after Brooks’ death. All four have been charged with raping Brooks before pushing her out of their vehicle onto a busy street.
Police report that Carter and Carver have been indicted on first- and third-degree rape charges. Lee and Washington are awaiting indictment but have been charged with third-degree rape.
The New York Post reported that Washington was also accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Reggie’s bar last August.
Speaking of the long road to recovery, Baustert told Fox, “I had to take time to cry. I cried all day long” for weeks after my daughter’s death.
Recalling Brooks’ last trip home, Baustert said: “I kissed her like I always did, and said, ‘I love you so much. I’ll see you on Sunday.'”
Brooks was an organ donor. “Her heart valves and kidney were donated after her death,” Baustert told Fox News.
The family’s new foundation encourages youth to stay safe and sign up to be organ donors.
“Now, it’s about picking up where Madi left off,” Baustert said.
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