“She had her whole life ahead of her,” family remembers toddler killed in crash

NEWAYGO COUNTY, Mich. --  The family of a toddler killed in a crash Saturday afternoon in Newaygo County is speaking out, saying that 3-year-old Alaya was taken too soon.

"She's in a better place, we know that but she had her whole life ahead of her," said Alaya's aunt Tasha Wilson.

The Melchor family was at a two-way stop at Elm Avenue and Baseline Road when the driver of a pickup truck failed to stop at the stop sign and hit the SUV with Casey Melchor, Alaya Melchor, Airial Melchor and Abel Melchor inside.

Alaya passed away at the scene, and her father, two siblings and a family friend suffered injuries.

Airial and Abel are currently at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital recovering from their injuries.

"We haven't really had time to process it," Wilson said. "Now I feel bad for the children, that they have to go home without their baby sister. How are they supposed to process that?"

Wilson started a GoFundMe for the medical and funeral expenses for the family.

"I'm not mad that they did it," Wilson said. "But I am mad that they went to that stop and they took the life of my beautiful, smart, intelligent three year old niece."

The crash is still under investigation, however, the driver and passenger of the pickup truck were not injured.

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