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Amesbury rallies around young woman seriously injured by Green Line train

Ava HarlowGoFundMe

Amesbury is rallying around a young woman days after she was grievously injured when she became trapped under an MBTA Green Line train in Boston and had to be extricated by Boston firefighters.

Ava Harlow, 20, an Amesbury native, is expected to need a prosthetic device after one of her legs was damaged during an incident on Jan. 27 at the Boston University Central stop on Commonwealth Avenue, according to two verified GoFundMe accounts.

“Ava was in a horrific accident at the Green Line in Boston,” states one fund-raiser, organized by Harlow’s childhood friends and classmates from Amesbury High School. “Among her many injuries, she now needs a prosthetic ... Ava played field hockey and basketball during her time at Amesbury High School.”


The second GoFundMe page, created by four women who identify themselves as Harlow’s “aunties” and long-time friends of her mother, also noted the significant injuries she sustained from the Green Line train impact.

“Thankfully she survived, but she has many very serious injuries and will require a prosthesis,’’ the women wrote. “We are hopeful for her recovery, but she will need several more surgeries and has a long, difficult road ahead of her.

Maria Wilkins, one of the “aunties,” said that Jamie Harlow, the injured woman’s mother, was focusing all of her energy on helping her daughter and declined to be interviewed.

“We’ve known Ava since she was a newborn and this is just devastating,” said Wilkins. “It’s a parent’s worse nightmare.”

The woman’s father, Andrew C. Harlow, could not be reached for comment.

Ava Harlow is a 2021 graduate of Amesbury High School, the superintendent said. Ava Harlow is a junior at Bridgewater State University studying criminal justice, according to Joseph A. Oravecz, vice president for student life at the university.


“Ava has had a positive impact on her circle of friends, suite mates, and many of her fellow classmates here at BSU,” he said in a statement. “As a criminal justice major in her third year of studies, her commitment to public service and justice is evident as she embodies our motto ‘Not to be Ministered Unto, But to Minister.’”

The university is collecting “items of inspiration” from students and staff to “let her know that our community is with her as she continues her recovery,” he said. The items will be delivered by Oravecz and BSU President Fred Clark when the time is appropriate, the school said.

“On behalf of the entire campus community, President Clark and I send our prayers and healing wishes sincere to Ava and her family during this difficult time,” Oravecz said.

Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan said in a statement that detectives have concluded Harlow was injured when she fell into the path of the trolley while trying to alert friends on the train to get off at the stop.

Harlow was accompanied by several friends last Friday around 11:30 p.m., Sullivan wrote.

“Once off the trolley two of the victim’s friends remained on the trolley as apparently they were unaware the rest of the group exited at BU Central stop,” he wrote. “As the trolley was pulling out of the station the victim was knocking on the trolley window in an attempt to garner her friends attention. In doing so the victim took a step in the direction of travel [of] the trolley while still knocking on the trolley window and lost her balance falling under the trolley.”


Harlow was extricated by specially trained Boston firefighters who plan to meet with Harlow’s relatives when they are ready to do so, firefighter Brian Alkins, a department spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to the Globe Wednesday.

The department tweeted about the rescue effort, which also involved crews from Boston Emergency Medical Services and Boston and Transit police officers.

“A Tech Rescue Response for a person under the Green Line Trolley at the BU Central station. A great job by” the departments, the tweet read.

Both GoFundMe pages have set goals of $150,000. By late Friday afternoon, the sites together had raised over $72,000 from more than 1,100 donors. Both sites have a shared goal — helping Ava Harlow and her family as they work to help her rebuild her life.

“Angels, we need your help. We are asking for donations to help with the enormous costs of Ava’s care, both now and in the future,” Wilkins and the “aunties” wrote. “She will need a lot of support in the months ahead (travel costs, therapy, in-home care, etc, etc) and we’d like to ease the worries of the family.”

John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.