The 34-year-old Lifetime star died in a car crash last month

By Aurelie Corinthios and Maria Pasquini
May 09, 2020 03:45 PM
Advertisement
Ashley “Minnie” Ross
Ashley "Minnie" Ross
| Credit: Scott Gries

Tributes for Ashley "Ms. Minnie" Ross came pouring in on Saturday afternoon when the late Little Women: Atlanta star's family hosted a memorial in her honor, less than a week after she died in a car crash. She was 34.

The "celebration of life" was streamed live at msminniemedia.com so that Ross' loved ones could participate from afar, abiding by social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a particularly emotional tribute, Ross' mother, Tammie Jackson, revealed that she received a phone call from her daughter after the car crash.

"When this happened, the accident, on April 26 at 11:11 p.m., she managed to call me and I picked up the phone," she said. "She didn't say anything, but I heard her breathing, and it gives me a little comfort knowing she was thinking about me."

Although she noted that she was initially "angry" about her daughter's death, "as the days went by, God told me, as much as you love Ashley, I love her more, and I need her home with me."

Reflecting on how much love her daughter had for longtime costars Amanda and Andrea Salinas, who were also in attendance, Tammie said they were the sisters the reality star had always longed for.

"Ashley loved you with all her heart," she said. "She became the mama bear to twin girls, Amanda and Andrea. From day one ... y'all were her world. Somebody mess with you, or looked at y'all crazy, she would be upset."

Through tears, Amanda also spoke at the memorial, sharing that Ross was "not just a friend, but a best friend and a sister and a mama bear."

"She was always there to lead a helping hand. Minnie was one of a kind," she said. "There is not a day goes by that we don’t miss you."

In another emotional moment, Ross' uncle reflected on a poignant moment he shared with her when she was a child.

"Oftentimes, whether we were at the grocery store or going to school, there would definitely be people pointing and staring and I knew she felt it so I would always say, the reason they're staring at you is because you're a star," he said. "Little did I know that years later those words would become prophetic."

On April 26, Ross was involved in an accident on Old National Hwy in Georgia. Though her team initially believed she had been injured in a hit-and-run, an investigation by the City of South Fulton Police Department found that Ross' car struck another vehicle head-on, and no third vehicle was involved.

According to the crash report obtained by TMZ this week, which was based on eyewitness testimony and the responding officer's observation, Ross lost control of her car while traveling southbound on one side of the highway, causing her to jerk the steering wheel to the right.

She went off-road briefly before swinging back to the left and colliding with another vehicle in the opposite lane, according to the report. According to TMZ, Ross was unresponsive on the scene and was later pronounced dead. No drug or alcohol tests were administered to either driver.

In the statement announcing her death last week, her management team said, "It is with profound sadness that we confirm on behalf of the family of Ashley Ross aka 'Ms. Minnie' of Little Women: Atlanta has succumbed to injuries from a tragic hit and run car accident today at the age of 34. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."

A Lifetime rep remembered Ross, a former hairstylist originally from Tennessee, as "the most beautiful, kind, giving, generous human ever" in a statement to PEOPLE.

"She was adored by cast and crew because she always wore her heart on her sleeve," the statement continued. "There's nothing she wouldn't do for those she loved."

The family is accepting flowers and cards, as well as donations via different platforms.