Woman allegedly pushed from vehicle at 65 mph encourages abused others to seek help

Published: Monday, Dec. 26 2011 7:15 p.m. MST

AshLee Bambrough and her father Jon talk Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, about the alleged abuse that AshLee went through. Police say AshLee was beaten and pushed from a vehicle traveling 65 mph by her boyfriend.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

HERRIMAN — AshLee Bambrough, who admits she likes to take pictures of her friends and family, got a new camera for Christmas.

But the biggest present AshLee and her family got this year was AshLee herself.

"That's the best gift we could have gotten is to have AshLee with us," her father, Jon Bambrough, said Monday.

A little less than six months ago, AshLee found herself in a hospital bed for six days with a skull fracture and other severe injuries to her face and back after prosecutors say her boyfriend pushed her out of a moving vehicle traveling 65 mph.

AshLee suffered brain damage and today still suffers spells of short-term memory loss, dizziness and headaches. She has at least two more surgeries ahead of her, including one with a plastic surgeon to fix the scars on her face as well as removing pieces of gravel still embedded in her head from impacting the asphalt road. She already has had pea and corn-sized rocks removed from her face.

Looking at the 23-year-old today, however, her recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. Her long hair covers most of the scarring on her face and forehead. She uses long sleeves to cover her badly broken left hand, which is still covered with bruises and will require another surgery.

Emotionally, AshLee and her family are also making strides to move forward. Part of that healing has been through becoming advocates in the fight against domestic violence.

Because her case is still pending in Davis County's 2nd District Court, AshLee and her father were advised not to speak specifically about the incident that almost killed her.

But according to charging documents and a victim impact statement she filed with the court on July 2, AshLee's boyfriend, Brandon Sloper, 25, was driving her to work in Layton when he decided he didn't want her working there anymore.

Sloper "did not want to let the victim go to work at her job because she would be working around and serving racial minorities," the charges state.

While they were driving, Sloper allegedly assaulted AshLee inside the vehicle, including breaking her finger. She tried to get out of the truck several times at safe locations but he wouldn't let her, according to the charges.

Finally, Sloper pushed her out of the vehicle on state Route 193, investigators say.

"I sustained significant injuries including skull fractures, hemorrhage in my brain, a broken hand, and multiple abrasions, lacerations and road rash that resulted in significant blood loss and brain damage," AshLee said in her victim impact statement.

Other motorists and bystanders who saw AshLee hit the ground called 911 as Sloper drove off.

"To this day, I am unable to concentrate, which prevents me from finding a job and participating in many social activities, much less take pleasure in the simple activities, such as reading a book — something that I used to enjoy as an avid reader. I have also lost my sense of smell. I cannot taste anything. Eating is no longer pleasurable," she wrote.

Sloper was charged Sept. 30 with kidnapping and aggravated assault, both second-degree felonies with domestic violence enhancers. Prosecutors say Sloper also had a prior domestic-related incident. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6.

AshLee took out a protective order against Sloper about a week after the incident.

As a way of helping to deal with what happened, AshLee's younger sister started a Facebook page called "Team AshLee." Together with her sister, AshLee has sold T-shirts on the page. On the back of each shirt is a picture of ribbon and the words, "Real men don't hit women."

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