Walkertown community rallies around family after child hit, killed by car

WALKERTOWN, N.C. -- On Wednesday afternoon, family members laid 11-year-old LaNiya Wright to rest.

She died on Oct. 10 after she was hit by a car and later a school bus while trying to walk to her bus stop.

Across Walkertown, the community is doing what they can to help the family.

“She was a smart little girl. She would put a smile on your face anywhere you go,” said Jessica Floyd, with Four Brothers Convenience Store.

Floyd said LaNiya and her mom would often come into the store. She decided to put out a jar collecting money for the family.

“Even a little 4-year-old came in here. And he wanted to put in as much as he had collected in his little piggy jar,” Floyd said.

They’re not the only store collecting for the family. Misty Ward, owner of Hair Images, also is collecting. She said even complete strangers have come in her shop to donate.

“Well when I first heard about it, it really broke my heart because I have a son who is her age, so it really hit home,” Ward said.

Derek Stoltz and Kevin Neal, with Stoltz Automotive and Racing, decided to help as well. They sold shirts at the fall festival and donated all of the proceeds to the family. They’ve raised around $1,500.

“My kid goes to the same school, my kid goes the same route, goes to the same spot everyday,” Stoltz said.

“Once everyone figured out what we were doing they wanted to help out even more,” Neal said.

Even strangers who did not know LaNiya personally felt compelled to come lay flowers at her memorial.

“My own daughter Gracelyn is 11 and it just really hits home when it’s someone whose the same age as your own daughter,” Melissa Smith said.

It seems just about everyone in Walkertown is trying to do what they can to help this family.

“I have two kids of my own so I can’t imagine losing a child, burying a child. It’s weighing on a lot of people,” Floyd said.

All of the fundraisers have brought in around five thousand dollars for the family. There’s also a GoFundMe that has raised another $5,000.