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Ja-Asia Hasty, 2019 Hempstead High School graduate, dies in crash

La-Asia Hasty, 19, died in a crash on

La-Asia Hasty, 19, died in a crash on the Southern State Parkway on Friday. Credit: Yolander Jemison

Ja-Asia Hasty was the go-to person for advice.

She was wise beyond her years and had a way of calming a person, said her mother, Yolander Jemison.

Looking to the future, the young woman was hoping to use that skill to become a social worker, Jemison said.

"She always wanted to help people with their problems," said Jemison, 37, of Hempstead. "Everyone would call her."

Ja-Asia Hasty's dream was cut short Friday when she was killed in a single-car crash on the Southern State Parkway. State Police said the 19-year-old was a passenger in a 2015 Infiniti sedan when the driver lost control of the car while traveling west at 10:20 a.m. The car struck a tree in the center median near Exit 41A, police said.

Two of her friends — the driver Ismael Jefferson, 22, of Hempstead, and Tony Porter, 22, of Westbury — were also killed in the crash. Another passenger, Ty-Jeneyah Cruz of Hempstead, was seriously injured, according to State Police. The group was coming back from a birthday celebration for Cruz, Jemison said.

Hasty was born and raised in Hempstead, and she was a cheerleader and played volleyball at Hempstead High School, her mother said.

Lorraine Duffy, 49, remembered Hasty as a popular person with a great attitude toward life.

"She was always smiling; she had the most beautiful smile," said Duffy, of Copiague. 

Duffy, who was Hasty's godmother, said her outgoing nature made her want to become a celebrity.

"She wanted to be on TV," said Duffy.

In her final year of high school, Hasty became pregnant, her mother said. She gave birth to her daughter, Kalise Turner, who is now 4 months old, shortly after she received her graduation diploma this summer, she said.

Hasty understood the importance of getting a high school diploma, her mother said.

Being pregnant in her senior year presented challenges, Duffy said.

"It's difficult," she said. "She was trying to find her way, her next step in life."

Family friend Laura Harris, 33, of Hempstead, said she admired Hasty's fortitude in sticking with her dream of becoming a high school graduate. Many teens would drop out under those circumstances, she said.

"She defied the odds," Harris said. "She pushed forward. She had goals."

Hasty enjoyed being a loving and attentive mother, even as she was planning to go to college and pursue a career, Harris said.

Harris added, "She believed in loving and caring for people."

Beyond that, Hasty was the life of the party, she said.

"She was always singing and dancing," Harris said.

Harris has created a GoFundMe page to help Jemison with raising the baby. The account has raised more than $2,000.

Hasty's daughter is living with Jemison. The baby's father is helping to raise the child.

"She's missing her mom," Jemison said of the baby. "She knows she's not around."

Besides her mother and daughter, Hasty is survived by her father, Jason Hasty of Hempstead; a sister, Je-Bria Johnson of Hempstead; her paternal grandmother, Patricia Summerville of Hempstead; and her maternal grandfather, Edric Jemison of Jamaica in the West Indies.

The funeral service will be Friday at Union Baptist Church in Hempstead. The wake will be at 10 a.m. and the service at noon. Burial will follow in Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.

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