Family, community remember 3-year-old hit and killed in Columbia

Family, community remember 3-year-old hit and killed in Columbia
Jayana Summers

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - We are learning more about the girl hit and killed by a car in Columbia on Thursday.

Authorities say 3-year-old Jayana Summers and her mother just crossed the road near Duke Avenue and Lamar Street when a car struck her and her 23-year-old mother. Her mother is now recovering in the hospital with serious injuries.

Summers’ father, James, and community members say they want change to come to the roads in the area. That change includes speed bumps, slower speeds, or at the very least, a crossing lane. There is not one clearly marked anywhere near where Jayana and her mother were hit.

Police say preliminary indicators point to fatigue possibly being a factor in the crash, but they will be speaking with the solicitor about the case. They add no charges have been filed and say toxicology results on the driver are pending.

James stopped by a memorial to leave some items for her in her honor.

“If I could just laugh with her, that’s like the brightest thing that you could experience,” James said. “Meeting her and witnessing her smile and her laugh, she was coming to get a drink, or whatever from the store to go to the park and teach her how to ride her bike for the first time.”

“We got to come together,” said Anthony Kelly, a friend of the Summers family. “Our county council, our mayor and all. Have a little sit down and talk you know. There’s a lot going on. If all of us can get together and come up with a date where we can sit down and talk do a lot, but action takes a lot.”

We also spoke with Ricky Khetani, who manages the A-1 Food Store across the street from the memorial.

“It was a tragedy of mammoth proportions,” he said. “I cannot even put it into words. I cannot express myself.”

Khetani adds they have started collecting funds for the family.

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