HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The family of a 2-year-old is in mourning after the child was fatally hit and killed by a car on Saturday.
“I’m waking up every morning, my daughter’s not there,” said Ashley Hope, the toddler’s mother. “It’s tearing me apart.”
The Henrico Police Department said officers responded to the scene at St. Luke’s Apartments on Engleside Circle across from Richmond Raceway, just after 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 24. There, first responders found a child, Chanay Simpson, also known as Nae Nae, 2, who was hit by a car.
Ashley Hope, the toddler’s mother, said two of her other children’s birthdays were this past week, so the family decided to hold a party for them on Saturday.
Hope said she was putting party supplies in a car when she saw another vehicle speeding through the neighborhood. She said it came around the corner at a high speed, even though a group of kids and adults were hanging outside while getting ready for the party.
As soon as the car turned around the corner, Hope said she heard someone yelling “Ashley, your baby!”
That is when Hope said her child was hit by the car.
“I’m literally on the ground with my baby waiting for the ambulance to come,” Hope said.
Hope said she’s torn up that just standing outside, getting ready for a birthday party, turned into tragedy.
“I have to get ready to set up a funeral,” Hope said. “I never thought I would have to do [that] this early.”
The family said the parking lot speed limit was 5 miles per hour, but they said the car was traveling way beyond that.
In a release sent out by police on Monday, they said neither speed or alcohol are considered factors in this incident. They believe the 2-year-old stepped into the path of the vehicle and was struck. Hope confirmed her child ran out into the street.
A release from police said the driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with law enforcement, and HPD is continuing to investigate this incident.
“The only thing we’re asking for is peace, justice and some strength for this mother who has lost her daughter and has to face her other five children and look at them every day to tell them that their sister is gone,” the child’s aunt, Tiffany Neal, told 8News Monday.
Hope told 8News a vigil is planned to honor Simpson Monday night at the site of the memorial along Engleside Circle. The vigil is set to begin at 7 p.m.