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‘She was my life:’ Mom grieves 2-year-old hit, killed by car

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A mother of six says she and her children are hurting and want justice after her 2-year-old daughter was hit and killed by a driver.

Saturday, Ashley Hope’s family was supposed to be celebrating two of her children’s birthdays at the St. Luke Apartments when Chanay Simpson, affectionately known as Nae Nae, was hit.

“Somebody took my child! I love my kids,” Hope said. “I was right there. I wasn’t in the house, I wasn’t up the street, I was right there - putting stuff in the car. We are hurting. To know my daughter was standing on the sidewalk and yes, she ran into the street, but if you were going the speed limit, this could have been avoided.”

Henrico police say the driver remained on the scene and is cooperating with detectives. They also say neither speed nor alcohol is believed to be a factor in this incident. The investigation continues, but Hope says the driver was speeding that day - an issue she says is constant in the St. Luke neighborhood.

”All of the good memories I keep trying to post because I am trying to get that back, and I look at my other five kids and wonder how they are feeling and what is going through their mind,” she said. “She was just so adorable.”

Hope says Nae Nae was the life of the party, a people person, joyful and a spirit that most people connect with.

“I just pray and pray and pray, I prayed that day, but God had other plans,” said Hope.

According to kidsandcars.org, there are thousands of “front over accidents” per year across the country.

“Drivers should drive slowly and be aware that children may dart out in parking lots and neighborhoods,” the organization explained. “Children under age 5 are the most at-risk for frontover and backovers because they cannot be seen by the driver.”

Hope is asking anyone who may have seen what happened or has information to reach out to the police as they continue to investigate.

”If y’all really loved my daughter, then we need to get justice; people need to open their mouth,” she said.

The family has set up an online fundraiser as they make final arrangements for little Nae Nae. Hope says she is being pushed into a new path and purpose for her and her children’s lives.

”I have been saying I want to go to church more, I want to become a CNA,” said Hope. “I am going to take those CNA classes, I am going to do what I am supposed to do - death is going to push me. I’ve been procrastinating a lot, but I still took care of my six kids. It is going to be harder, but I know with everybody who loves me, they are going to make sure I keep pushing,”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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