Jarret Romanello, The St. Lucie Post
April 6. 2021
(ST. LUCIE COUNTY) Lawnwood Softball fields has a new name in memory of a teen that died in 2019.
On New Year’s Eve 2017, Layne Chesney, a softball standout from Lincoln Park Academy, sustained injuries during a horrific accident at a friend’s house. While tending to a bonfire, the gasoline can she was holding exploded, burning 95% of her body. After fighting to recover for 16 months, the 16-year-old died peacefully with her mother and grandmother by her side.
Layne was an outstanding athlete that worked tirelessly to pursue a dream of becoming a middle infielder for the Florida Gators and to become an environmental scientist after softball.
Layne’s charisma and positivity impacted all, and she lived her life as she died – Layne Strong.
Tonight the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners voted to rename the St. Lucie County Lawnwood Softball fields at John B. Park Sporting Complex, adjacent to Quincy Ave & 13th St in her honor. County Commissioner Cathy Townsend thanked Fort Pierce City Commissioner Jeremiah Johnson for rallying the cause.
In his closing remarks addressing the Board of County Commissioners in front of Layne’s teammates and a packed audience, Commissioner Johnson reflected on Layne’s legacy, “In her short but precious years walking on this earth, Layne impacted the world around her, leading by example, laughing out loud, encouraging her schoolmates, teasing her teammates, that are standing right here behind us. During the most challenging moments of the time on the field and off the field, she was a fierce competitor. Layne was, still is, and will forever be the epitome of character, strength, and determination.”
Her dreams cut short; now Lincoln Park Academy, the Chesney family, and all of St. Lucie County have a Field of Dreams – the “Layne Chesney Softball Complex.” Her memory will live forever.