Linganore junior remember Hook for determination
Leslie Ann Hook, 16, died in a single-car crash on Sept. 11
Leslie Ann Hook always got what she wanted.
Whether the Linganore High School junior fell in love with a piece of art or an animal, she pursued it until it was hers — a fact J.C. Welch well knows, and shared last week at a memorial service for Leslie.
J.C., a fellow Linganore student, met Leslie in eighth grade, and said she once fell in love with his pet rabbit at a Halloween party.
"I'm taking your rabbit," J.C. said Leslie vowed at the time, but he denied her.
But two days after Leslie died in a car crash, the rabbit also died.
"She wanted the rabbit, and she got him, too," J.C. said.
Leslie, 16, and a junior at Linganore High, was killed Sept. 11 when her car struck a tree on Woodville Road. Her friends and family remembered her in a memorial service held at Rushing Winds Farm in Frederick on Thursday afternoon.
Several of her classmates took the podium to recall how artistic, energetic and kind Leslie was.
The Rev. Kenny King of Liberty Fellowship in Libertytown said she had always loved animals, especially horses, and had hoped to be a veterinarian.
Her riding instructor and mentor, Star Lawson, also spoke at the memorial service, which was held at her farm.
Lawson remembered how much Leslie had loved her horse, Apollo, who had been rescued from an abusive life by the farm eight years ago.
Coming to Rushing Winds Farm at about the same time Leslie did, Apollo bonded with the girl.
Leslie's excitement and joy for life not only inspired her peers and family, but her horse as well. She was constantly pushing Apollo to his limits, training him to jump higher and higher, Lawson said.
In return, Leslie cared for the horse, grooming him and feeding him treats. Once she earned her driver's license, she was at the stables every day riding and caring for Apollo.
Lawson said the last conversation she had with Leslie was on the night before the crash, a text message wishing her sweet dreams and telling her that she and her horse were looking forward to seeing her the next day.
Now, Lawson said she would care for the horse in Leslie's honor. "I will remember to give Apollo his treat tonight and give him a kiss on the nose," Lawson said.
King said Leslie had been extraordinarily lucky. She slipped into a coma before her first birthday, and doctors did not believe she would recover from. And just a few years ago, she was run over by a lawn tractor, which was inches from killing her.
Her determination was not just in the face of death and danger, but also in her leisure pursuits. When she was learning to ride a bicycle, her father had agreed to teach her after returning from a weeklong business trip. By the time he returned, Leslie had taught herself, King said.
Her father, Dan Hook, said words could not describe how much he loved his daughter. He told her friends to remember how much their families loved them, and to avoid risky behavior. "You are not invincible," he said. "Do not take unnecessary risks."
Hook was driving north on Woodville Road at about 3:10 p.m. on Friday when she lost control of her car on the wet road and struck a tree, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office. Police believe she was speeding, and that it was a case of driver error.
The family is asking for donations to be made to the Rushing Winds Farm, 9912 Masser Road Frederick, MD 21702.
E-mail Christian Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.