Family mourns child killed in Hoke County crash
RAEFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Hoke County family is mourning the sudden and tragic loss of an eight-year-old girl. Zaria Evans was killed in a car crash Tuesday morning in a five car pile-up in Hoke County.
Family members said Zaria had a sweet spirit.
"You always wanted to be around her with a smile, happy people," said Zaria's cousin Gina Leggett.
Margaret Evans said when her granddaughter died, so did a big piece of her heart.
"Oh, she loved her grandma," said Evans. "Pecked me on the cheek and hugged me around the neck. Sometimes she sat on my knee."
The car Zaria was riding in was at the end of line of vehicles stopped for a red light at the intersection of U.S. Highway 401 and Duck Pond Road. State troopers said a Dodge truck failed to slow down as it came up behind the stopped cars, and plowed right into them.
Zaria's car was the first one he hit. Her mother and brother were injured as were several of the other motorists.
State troopers have charged the truck driver, Antonio Dingle, with misdemeanor death by vehicle. So far, ABC11 has not been able to contact Dingle for a comment.
Someone left flowers and a small child's cross at the intersection following the crash.
According to the State Highway Patrol's latest numbers, the intersection where the crash happened is one of the most dangerous in Hoke County with 59 accidents reported between Jan. 2007 and Dec. 2011.
A Walmart, a shopping center and a middle school, make it a very busy stretch of road. The traffic numbers don't in any way ease the sorrow for grieving family members who say right now their faith is their only strength.
"I'm going to miss her," said Evans. "I love her from the depths of my heart. I'm going to miss her."
"Even though we cry when people look at us we are crying tears of joy cause we know she is in a good resting place," said Leggett.
Zaria's funeral is Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Beauty Spot Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville. She will be laid to rest at the East Lawn Cemetery in Rockfish.
A fund has been set-up at PNC Bank in Raeford to help the family with funeral expenses. You may make contribution to this account by wire, checks, money orders or direct deposit. You may also send donations to the following address payable to the Zaria Evans Angel Account.
Address of Bank: 201 North Main Street, Raeford, NC 28376
Account Name: Zaria Evans Angel Account
Routing #: 054000030 Account#: 5333260989
hoke county, local/state, greg barnes
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