DALLAS - When Carol Carter watches the stories of the tornadoes ripping through Alabama, she can't help but worry about her daughter, Michelle, who survived it, and about her former Ursuline Academy classmate, Ashley Harrison, who did not.
“I’m terribly saddened,” she said. “It’s really hard to believe this young life is not there.”
Michelle Carter escaped injury, huddled in her sorority house at the University of Alabama. But, Harrison, a fellow senior, was off campus with friends. All that is left of the house she was in is now rubble. Her Dallas family rushed there to look for her and made anguished pleas for help to an Alabama station before hearing the news she had died. Her body was found 100 yards away.
Harrison, 22, was a student at the University of Alabama and a 2007 graduate of Ursuline Academy in Dallas. Harrison was studying economics at the university.
"She was the light of many people's lives and has a heart as big as the sky," her uncle Marion Perret told News 8.
He said the family searched for her throughout Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
She was tossed nearly 100 yards away from the home and suffered a fatal injury to her neck.
Harrison called her parents Wednesday and informed them of the weather heading to the state. She said she was going to hide in a closet.
Her boyfriend, Alabama football player Carson Tinker and another friend, were also tossed from the home but survived.
At Ursuline Academy Thursday, students stopped what they were doing to pray when they heard the news.
“We prayed for her eternal peace," Bourgeois said.
Harrison had been a Lacrosse player while at the Dallas Catholic school.
”It was shocking," Bourgeois said of Harrison's death.
Her friends said to know her was to love her.
“Remember her as a beautiful young woman," Bourgeois said. "She was full of goodness, full of life, full of happiness of being," she said. "Whoever she was with she brought joy."
Harrison was an only child.
There were 13 other Ursuline students in Tuscaloosa when the tornado hit. All of the other students survived.
Bourgeois said many students expressed a desire to do something to help after hearing the news.
“One dad I talked to says he encouraged his daughter to do volunteer work," she said of one former Ursuline student that survived the tornado. "'Go do something,' because she was in the dark and she was without water or electricity. He said, 'Go find something to do for someone else. You'll be happy.'"
In her year book, Harrison wrote, ”Some people come into your life and quickly go, but some stay for a while and leave footprints on your heart and forever you are never the same.”
Harrison's friends said she left an indelible mark on their lives.