Family starts scholarship for teen killed in motorcycle crash
Every day 16-year-old Emily Tredway’s family spent with her was precious.
“She was just sunshine,” said her mother, Kari Reese, “We were just so grateful that she was able to stay with us.”
Emily was born with a rare swallowing and breathing disorder many patients at the time didn’t survive.
“Which I think added value to the importance of our understanding of time; We cherished every minute,” said Kari.
16 years later, Emily was a thriving honor student with big plans to change the world as an engineer focusing on clean energy. Her greatest love was music, followed by swimming, travel and adventures on her motorcycle with her dad, Tom Tredway.
“I did a cross-country trip when she was 11. She rode on the back. We road from Alabama to Alaska, so, we logged about a little over 6,000 miles on that trip. I was worried about her, of course, the whole time because that's a lot of time to spend on the back of a bike,” he explained, but looking back, he didn’t have a reason to. “She never complained one time, she was great through the whole trip. A couple years after that is when she told all of us that she was going to have a motorcycle and that was just the way it was going to be.”
Once Emily got her motorcycle safety certification, driver’s license and a beginner bike, she and Tom went on another cross-country adventure together.
“She was comfortable on a motorcycle,” said Tom.
Reese added, “She drove everything. The only thing that she's never driven was a train.”
Saturday, Sept. 9, would have been Tom and Emily’s last ride of the season.
“It was a pretty day. It was a good day for it,” said Tom.
The two planned to ride to Hope, spend the day there, and come back.
“I don't know what happened,” he told KTVA, “She was behind me.”
According to the Alaska State Troopers, Emily lost control of her motorcycle along the Seward Highway, near Girdwood.
“I check on her all the time in my rearview mirror, and I just checked on her just a few seconds earlier and when I checked again, she wasn't there. She was gone,” said Tom, adding, “We were on the Seward Highway just approaching Girdwood, a straight stretch. There was nothing in the road. I don’t know what happened.”
He says Troopers have Emily’s bike and are still investigating the cause of the accident.
As news of the fatality broke, some took to social media, to blame Emily’s parents, comments both have chosen to ignore.
“Emily's last paper that she wrote for her English class was how opposing opinions help us form our own thoughts, so with her in mind, I'll only say that people are entitled to their own opinion. If that's how they feel about motorcycles, then that is their right. It's now how Emily lived, and it's now how we're gonna live after. We're gonna honor her in every way we can, and I'll be content with that,” said Tom.
Reese takes comfort in the fact that doctors believe Emily died instantly, and the time she spent on this earth, she lived with no regrets.
“She set the example of to live fearlessly and she inspired so many people because of it,” said Reese.
Days following the crash, dozens of motorcycles, ridden by Alaskans who didn’t even know Emily, lined the streets for her funeral procession -- a sight her family knows she would have loved.
With the help of family and friends, they’ve now raised $15,000 for a scholarship fund to help young determined people like Emily reach their goals.
“She was literally planning on changing the world... If we have more people like Emily in the world, that is changing the world, in our view,” said Reese.
They’re hoping to start awarding scholarships by Spring of 2018.
“The sooner we can start helping kids, the better,” said Tom.
If you’d like to donate to the scholarship fund, you can do so here.