The teen was reportedly sleeping in the back seat of the car when the crash happened at 7 p.m. The Sparkill, N.Y. local was not wearing her seatbelt.
It was a catastrophic crash, State Police Trooper Bill Comerford told the Journal News. Literally, the tree was up against the back seat.
According to authorities, the driver of the car was 18-year-old Daniel Brown. Brown and another passenger, 17-year-old Connor Vasquez, were both wearing seatbelts and were treated for minor injuries at a hospital in Poughkeepsie.
Police are investigating the accident and no charges have been filed. Comerford told the Journal News that there was no indication Brown had been drinking. Weather conditions may have contributed to the crash as the Thruway was wet and slippery at the time of the crash.
Hedges is survived by her mother, Wendy Lee MacDowell, and her family has asked for privacy. The Journal News reports Hedges was known as a talented artist and photographer.
She's a great person, kind hearted. She had a beautiful soul, Heges' friend, Alexandra Ludas, 18, told the Journal News.