'Touched me.' Outpouring of community support after girl killed in Raleigh Christmas parade

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Memorial created in honor of girl killed in Raleigh parade
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People rally to show support to family of girl killed in Raleigh Christmas when she was struck by an out-of-control truck pulling a float.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Saturday's parade tragedy in Raleigh remains on the hearts and minds of everyone. That's why on Hillsborough Street there's a symbol of love and support in the form of a memorial.

Community members say the symbol of love and support honors the life of the 11-year-old girl.

"It just touched me," said Dena Francia.

She dropped off flowers and lit a candle for the victim of Saturday's tragedy. The flame from the candle is burning bright symbolizing that the 11 year old's memory lives on. When the tragedy happened, Francia knew she wanted to do something.

"I picked up my flowers Saturday night and there was nothing set up yet. So I waited and then I saw it on the news this morning," she said.

The community is expressing sorrow and pitching in to help where needed. Over at 321 Coffee, a big donation was given by the owners of therapy dog Chloe Grace Noel. It was enough of a donation that drinks Monday morning were covered too.

"They're wanting to cover the cost of drinks all throughout Sunday. So beautiful to just see people coming together. Wanting to show love for other people," Lindsay Wrege, owner of 321 Coffee.

Horses with Stampede of Love walked the parade route with their owner Tara Needham. The mini horses are used as a form of animal assisted therapy. When she heard about the tragedy she knew the mini horses would make a big impact.

"Their little warm bodies so to speak can be there to console people," said Needham. "Stapede of Love is more than willing if anybody would like to have a visit with these animals. Whether it's going to a facility or you coming here. We can arrange something."

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