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1-Vehicle Crash Leaves Infant Dead, Woman Critical

Police say speed and alcohol were factors in a crash that critically injured the driver and killed her infant daughter.

Around 6 p.m. Monday, a white Chevrolet Tahoe was southbound on FM 1484 near Miller when the driver, 28-year-old Ashli Heil of Conroe, reached a curve and lost control of the vehicle. The SUV crossed into the northbound lane, almost striking another vehicle before hitting a cedar tree with the impact to the passenger door. The vehicle also sheared off a gas meter.

North Montgomery and Cut and Shoot Firefighters arrived and had to shut off the gas line before approaching the still running crashed vehicle, where Heil was injured and trapped along with her 8-month-old baby girl, Whilow, who was already deceased. The infant was strapped in her car seat, which was secured in the right rear passenger seat, but was no protection from the tree that came inside the vehicle upon impact.

Heil  was extricated and transported by PHI Air Ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where she was listed as stable as of 10 p.m.

Becky Paschal was in the oncoming lane and noticed the Suburban, she said. The SUV didn’t navigate the curve, going straight across her lane and into the ditch before striking the tree.

Paschal said Heil’s Suburban would have hit her, had she not slowed her speed.

“In my profession I drive so I was already watching way ahead of me, and I noticed it out of control ahead of time, and I slowed down – thank God,” she said.

Pascahl said the wheels were turned but the truck was going straight.

The vehicle had what appeared to be new Michelin tires.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the crash. A DPS Trooper at the hospital with Heil reported alcohol was involved and DPS on the scene said excessive speed was a factor.

FM 1484 will be closed between SH 105 and Milmac remains closed as of 10 p.m. while the investigation continues and the gas company installs a new meter.

FM 1484 reopened at 2a.m.




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  1. hgb12

    i would like to say to the person who posted this it doesnt help any of our family move forward thats my baby sister.. every time someone thinks there helping post about my step-mom just stop you dont the half of the story,

  2. gimblet

    if she was driving 45mph as posted and slow down for a curve in the road as a normal driver would do…..this would not have happened. judge or not judge, ALCOHOL or NO ALCOHOL, drugs or no drugs. she will pay for this HUGE mistake the rest of her life. the fact is she is a very bad driver, that’s what the picture’s tell me. she should have never had a baby in the car.

  3. jg08

    WOW so just remove the link, huh? I only posted that to let people who post hateful comments know that just because the read something they shouldn’t judge until all facts are proven. If it has been confirmed that she was drunk then update your article!

  4. jg08

    RIP Whilow my heart goes out to the family.
    There seems to be conflicting reports on this tragedy and everyone has their opinions. According the article I posted below it will be a few days before they will know if alcohol was involved…so which sources know the facts? Until its been confirmed then maybe opinions/assumptions should be avoided


  5. critter1957

    hmmmm,,,,,what a choice of signs to being carrying in the vehicle,,,,,,,,,,,ALCOHOL,,,,YOU ARE MY FRIEND,,,,,THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES,,,,,,,,,,I for one am glad I will not have memories like Ashli,,,,,RIP Whilow another precious little angel called home

  6. gimblet

    she does need help. however she needs to pay big time for what she did. i think that she did murder her baby girl by drinking and driving.she needs to know what NEGATIVE is all about for a while. the drunk seems to always live.just maybe she does need to read all the above.

  7. bobbyd

    How can you say those NEGATIVE things about the 1st candidate for Mother of the Year Award?
    Have you no compassion for MURDERERS??

  8. kimberly G

    Hello People! This is the Cousin of of Ashli. Thank u for the blessings from some..(EDITED FOR LANGUAGE).. I’m her family and still am not sure what her alcohol level was or the truth behind it. Lord knows she will have to deal with losing her ONLY daughter already.. no one needs YALLS judgement ! The Lord will be the one to judge her. Ashli has a broken neck, pelvis & many other bones. So please say a prayer for her healing time. And also pray for my uncle Chris (father of Whilow) . He lost his first wife in a car wreck in 2004 and also lost another 16 yr old daughter in 2008..he has overcame these hard times ! But please guys pray he can overcome this as well ..We know it won’t be easy but with the many prayers and comfort from my family and people like u ..maybe it’ll just get easier. For some people they look at addiction like it’s a gross thing, others look at it as if it is a disease that can ONLY be conquered through a stronger source besides will power! That’s all I will say on that. (EDITED FOR LANGUAGE) Thank u and May God Bless the ones that do take time to pray for my family …RIP WHILOW BRANAM


  9. krosstx

    jesmize, I wonder how “sympathetic” you would be if that was your baby daughter that she killed driving around drunk? She was drunk when she got into the vehicle with that baby and stopped along the way to buy more alcohol to drink. Do you even know who much alcohol you have to consume to be 3 times the legal limit? It’s not just a couple of beers. I have zero sympathy for Ashli. And yes, I hope she reads all the negative things that are written and said about her. That precious child depended on her mother to be the one person to protect her and she was the one person who killed her. I hope she spends the rest of her life in jail. She is lucky she didn’t kill the other driver who she barely missed hitting. Too bad she wasn’t the one killed instead of her baby.

  10. CountryRefuge

    As I read this article, my heart hurt with how profoundly sad this accident is–for those who love/d Ashli & Whilow, and for those who responded. My sympathy and prayers to each person affected by this.
    Several of the above comments reflect sensitivity and empathy. But then there are the comments that bring to mind a feeding frenzy on misery. Do you hope that the comments will be carried back to Ashli? Do you care about how hard this is for others who loved them both?
    Could someone clue me in on why the comment about jesmize’s misspelling of ‘news mediums (sic)?’ I’m a thousand miles away from you all, and my mediums (psychics) are out on strike…

  11. jesmize

    I would first like to say my prayers are going out to the family. I would also like to tell everyone who has prejudged this situation to please read the paper for a few days until the whole investigation is over. I have been in a similar situation and remember waking up to many lies being written in the local news mediums. I am not saying what has been written is wrong but Ashli has a long road of not just physical but mental rehabilitation that she may or may not get over. She needs prayers and not negativity. Family, friends, and positivity are the things that are going to help her along. I feel so bad for the baby, she looked to be so sweet, she will be missed.

  12. breeze28

    may god be with the family and for the mother am lost for words . I live off 1484 was on my way home when I had turn around to go other way . I knew it was bad. JUST EVERYONE TAKES A MIN TO SLOW DOWN AND NOT DRINKING , DO DRUGS AND DRIVING . Cause at the end alot of family , bystanders and friends are hurt from this . I know to will it been 1 year 1 month 10 days when the love of my life was killed . God bless everyone that this has touched .

  13. krosstx

    (Television news) said that her blood alcohol level was 3 times the legal limit yet she choose to drive with her baby in the car with her. Some people don’t deserve to be parents. That precious baby paid with her life for her mother’s stupidity. I hope she is haunted by this the rest of her life. Idiot.

  14. bobbyd

    What a Tragedy..A ALCOHOL~INDUCED(by reports) wreck where an Eight-month child MURDERED by her own Mother.
    People NEED to be more responsible in their actions..Especially when children are involved.
    My Prayers & Thoughts to Whilow and Her Family..

  15. critter1957

    prayers for the family, such a tragedy and another one called home after such a short life. such a sweet face. RIP little angel

  16. SCrihfield

    Ms. Thomas, thank you for sharing. We live next door. We were wondering what had happened. What a tragedy. I was at home with my newborn baby and could onlu watch all the lights from afar. I wish I could have helped with something or anything. I have to agree with you, regarding the danger of the curve, there have been so many accidents. Before I lived here, my grandparents lived here and there have always been so many accidents. I have always been afraid to stop and check.the mail but now will be even more careful as well. There was so much comfort in your words about how the Lord and His angels carried sweet hasn’t to heaven.

    My prayers are with the family and friends of Ashli & baby Whilow.

  17. jathomas

    This terrible accident happened in our front yard, this afternoon a little after 6 PM. I am so sad and heartbroken for this family.It is 11:55 PM and they are still working the scene. I have never been this close to such a tragedy.My prayers go out for this Mother and the family.I will never walk down my driveway again with thinking of that beautiful little baby, that GOD and his angels took her to heaven on their wings.The picture you displayed was so beautiful.
    While I was calling 911, my husband was rushing to the scene with other people who were calling 911 too. I want everyone to know they should be proud of the men and women who were during their duties tonight.The ambulance and fire truck were here within 4-5 minutes. The car broke our gas line and the car was filled with what I thought was smoke. They got everyone away and put their lives at risk, not knowing if the car would explode. They had to use jaws to get the Mother out. Life flight was here with in a short time. Cut N Shoot Police, DPS, DA, Cut N Shoot firefighters,Gas company, MCSO, Emergency personnel,Trey Spikes,JP, funeral directors, wrecker drivers, all did their jobs as a team working hand in hand. They were pros but with compassion.I commend them and for their difficult job tonight.
    We have some very dangerous curves on FM 1484. This is not the first wreck in our yard. People drive to fast. This is the second time in 10 years that if I had been a few minutes later getting home. That car would have hit me, as that is where I stop to check my mail. Same thing 10 years ago when a log truck turned over in our yard. I had just checked my mail and walked in the house. I won’t be doing that anymore. The State Highway needs to put up posts or some type of strips. From Milmac to 2 miles pass Miller Rd. Someone is always running through fences and having wrecks, most not of this tragedy. Maybe this is where Cut N Shoot Police need to watch. Give New Bethlehem Church a break. Not that you aren’t doing your job but you might save a life.
    Rest in peace baby, Whilow,

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