RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A small memorial now stands in Downtown Raleigh, remembering an 11-year-old girl who was tragically killed after being hit by a float while she was performing in the Raleigh Christmas Parade.
It’s set up at a tree near the intersection of Boylan Ave. and Hillsborough St., where police said the truck pulling the float lost control of the brakes.
Members of the community surrounded the tree with bouquets of flowers, honoring the young dancer.
The girl was part of the parade in which the dancers with CC & Co. Dance Complex performed.
A small memorial also stands outside the dance school.
“A terrible thing, the worst thing you could ever picture,” said Gary Walling, interim minister Hillyer Memorial Christian Church.
The church is near the corner where the deadly incident happened Saturday. They opened their doors to the CC & Company dance troupe during the tragedy.
This is where dancers reunited with their parents.
“They began to collect them in this alleyway behind us and that lead to moving them inside the fellowship hall,” Walling said.
Sunday, the congregation prayed for a young life lost too soon. Walling wants anyone affected to know the Raleigh community stands behind them.
“There’s so much sadness for them and for the family that lost this child, we wanted to keep them in our prayers but also for that entire group,” he said. “There are a lot of young children that witness something that we hoped they would never have to witness.”
On the other side of the street a coffee shop, 321 Coffee is giving out free drinks all day after a therapy dog non-profit wanted to “pay it forward” in memory of the girl who died.
Tiffany Franchi set up a small memorial.
“Just really, like, stay strong right now. Keep people close together and just give back and continue to spread light in a dark situation,” she said.
She started the small memorial and said even a Raleigh grocery store wanted to show support for the family and dance group.
“They donated a bucket of flowers to really make it colorful and bright and really just bring out to remember the girl who lost her life,” Franchi said.