Family of 5-year-old killed in fiery Sussex crash forgives driver

Family of girl killed in crash forgives driver

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Christina Parham died Wednesday after a driver suspected in a high-speed chase crashed into the car little Christina and her 8-year-old cousin were in.

Christina’s grandmother, Gloria Farmer, looks through photos of her granddaughter to find some sense of comfort in the days following the tragedy.

“We’ve all been going through a lot, there’s just no words for it,” Farmer said.

Farmer remembers her 5-year-old granddaughter as an angel who loved church.

“One time we were at church and I looked over at her and I said, ‘What’s wrong with you Christina?’ and she said ‘I want to pray,’” Farmer said.

Christina Parham's grandmother shares pictures of her 5-year-old granddaughter who was killed in a fiery car crash.
Christina Parham's grandmother shares pictures of her 5-year-old granddaughter who was killed in a fiery car crash. (Source: NBC12)

Now, Farmer is relying on her faith to get through this unimaginable season of grief.

It was Wednesday while trying to enjoy spring break when Farmer’s granddaughter and cousin were involved in a fiery crash.

“I got the phone call she had been in an accident she was being medevaced to the hospital,” she said.

Virginia State Police said Toriando B. Smith, 29, of Petersburg, fled police just after 8 a.m. April 3, when a trooper tried to initiate a traffic stop for speeding.

The vehicle, a Chevrolet Cruze, was going 39 mph in a 25 mph zone when the trooper initiated the stop. As he approached the vehicle, it fled. During the pursuit, the vehicle reached speeds of more than 100 mph.

“I was on my way to the hospital when I got the call back that she was gone,” said Farmer. “I was weak. My body just felt like everything in me just left.”

Christina Parham's grandmother shares pictures of her 5-year-old granddaughter who was killed in a fiery car crash.
Christina Parham's grandmother shares pictures of her 5-year-old granddaughter who was killed in a fiery car crash. (Source: NBC12)

Christina’s 8-year-old cousin Darnell Bullock was airlifted to VCU Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. His mother, 30-year-old Latonya Chandler, of Stony Creek, was driving the Impala and was transported to VCU Medical Center for serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

“They’re going to have to teach Darnell to walk all over again if he pulls through this and his mama, she has a lot of extensive injuries and a long healing process,” said Farmer.

Some may find it easy to lose themselves in anger, but Farmer, remembering her faith chose a different option instead of being angry.

“God said ‘Be ye anger and sin not,’ so we do forgive him for what he did because that’s what Jesus would have us to do,” said Farmer.

In this way, Farmer hopes to honor the life of her granddaughter.

“We will always remember her and have a space in our heart for her,” said Farmer.

Farmer said a funeral will be held for Christina on April 13.

Anyone wishing to donate to a memorial fund for Christina, can do so here.

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