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Crash victim had a heart for missions


A New Haven woman who family members said was passionate about helping people died Monday from injuries suffered in a single-vehicle crash on North River Road, according to a report from the Allen County Coroner's Office.

Amelia Castleman, 18, crashed the vehicle she was driving shortly after 1 a.m. in the 11400 block of North River Road.

Castleman was alone in the in the vehicle at the time of the crash. She was not wearing a restraint at the time of the crash and was ejected from the vehicle, according to the coroner's office. She was transported to Parkview Regional Medical Center, where she died of blunt-force trauma.

Castleman's family said she had been commuting to and from her home in New Haven to attend classes at IPFW, and North River Road was a path she traveled often.

"She's gone down that way many times. There's no explanation – no drugs, alcohol, no texting or anything," said her aunt, Laurie Mille.

A 2012 graduate of Bishop Luers High School, Castleman was in her first year at IPFW, where she was studying business. She was also an active member of St. John the Baptist Church in New Haven, family members said.

Miller said the loss would be difficult for her family and her many friends. "We called her a ball of fire," she said. "She was a very strong Christian, very passionate about helping people and helping kids. Just very loving."

As the family reflected on her life, they recalled a June 2012 trip that Castleman took to Ghana, West Africa, to teach children and help the less fortunate through "Teach on the Beach."

"She was definitely in the process of finding her calling," Miller said, adding that Castleman was already making plans for a return trip to West Africa. "She loved helping kids and people who were less fortunate."