Teenage victim of road rage thanks ‘God every day’ she’s still alive The Carrollton High School student believes a higher power prevented the bullet from hitting his vital organs
ATLANTA — 17-year-old Ashlyn Crouch knows how close she came to losing her young life after being shot in a road rage incident.
“The doctor would tell me an inch to the right and I would be gone,” she said.
The Carrollton High School student said Channel 2’s Tom Jones that she believes a higher power prevented the bullet from hitting her vital organs.
“I thank God every day that he protected me,” Crouch said.
Jones was at Grady Memorial Hospital following Crouch’s release on Friday night. She still has bandages covering her wounds as she recovers from being shot in the head.
The bullet first hit her near her left ear. Then it came out near his left eye.
“It’s the exit wound. They haven’t sewn it up yet,” the teenager explained why she still needed the thick gauze.
She can’t wait to get home and reconnect with her friends. Many feared she was on her deathbed.
“They think the bullet went here,” Croupton said, pointing to his forehead.
It was Sunday, May 1 when Ashlyn might have breathed her last. She, her boyfriend and two other friends traveled on Interstate 20 eastbound from Carroll County just after 4 p.m.
“My boyfriend was driving. We were going to a baby shower,” she said.
That’s when she said she noticed a speeding car had stopped behind them. Her boyfriend changed lanes. The car also changed lanes and Croupton said it nearly hit them.
“She comes next to us and she insults us. Roll the window down. Shoot the bird. She had her little kids on her back shooting birds,” Crouch said.
That’s when Ashlyn admits she made what could have been a fatal mistake.
“So I shoot the bird and then all the time she follows us to Chapel Hill,” Crouch said.
Douglasville Police said Brittney Griffith, 30, followed the teenagers for 10 to 15 miles to the Chapel Hill Road exit. Crouch said his friends in the car recorded video of Griffith pointing a gun at them through the window.
“And they were like, ‘Oh no! No! Duck! Duck! Duck!’ We thought it was just his hand, but it was a gun,” Crouch said.
Crouch said as Griffith was walking out of Chapel Hill, that’s when she pulled the trigger.
At first, she didn’t know she had been hit.
“The ball was hot. I couldn’t really feel the pain. I was just in shock. Like, ‘Wow. I got shot,” Crouch said.
The bullet didn’t just threaten his life. She said her boyfriend could have been seriously injured.
“The bullet went through me and hit my boyfriend,” Crouch said.
She said the bullet actually went through her hat, barely missing her head. He was not seriously injured.
Crouch said her best friend was frantic after noticing blood coming from her head.
“It caused trauma for my best friend because she was crying. Everyone was surrounding me and I was just holding my head,” Crouch said.
Police said the video recorded by the teens was key to identifying the shooter. Officers say they posted a screenshot of the video on social media and immediately received several responses.
That Sunday evening, police said Griffith turned himself in. Police said she confessed and told them she threw the gun into the Chattahoochee River.
Officers also said Griffith had her three children, ages 4 to 9, in the car with her.
Then there was the revelation that shocked even the trial court judge who presided over Griffith’s first appearance hearing.
Police say Griffith went to get her nails done immediately after shooting Crouch. The judge asked her what the hell was she thinking. Griffith got no response.
Crouch wonders if the shooter thought the bullet had missed its target.
“I don’t know if she thinks it hit me. That’s why she got her nails done,” Crouch said.
Griffith is now being held without bond. She faces four counts of aggravated assault, four counts of first-degree child cruelty and possession of a weapon in the commission of a felony.
Prosecutors said in court there may be other charges.
Meanwhile, Crouch continues to recover. Her mother, Dianna Crouch, said she would need round-the-clock care.
“She is not allowed to walk alone. Go to the toilet alone. She’s going to have to have a lot of following,” Dianna Crouch said.
The mother said she would be off work for another two months to take care of her daughter. She said it will put financial pressure on them. Still, she prays for Griffith.
“No one wants to see their child hurt by another person. And I pray for this lady. I really do. Because not only is my daughter hurt, but her children are hurt,” Dianna Crouch said.
Prosecutors said in court they would contact state child protective services to investigate the incident.
Ashlyn Crouch said she learned a valuable lesson about life and road rage.
“When someone does this to you (by waving), just keep your window open and carry on. Keep it all to myself, just be the nonchalant person and humble yourself,” Ashlyn Crouch said.
Ashlyn Crouch said she had so much to live for. She continually thanked God for keeping her here.
“My life flashed before my eyes,” said Ashlyn Crouch.
A GoFundMe account has been created to assist Ashlyn and her family with expenses incurred as a result of this incident.
©2022 Cox Media Group