PHOENIX – A Phoenix family is mourning the loss of one of its members after Kiara Melvin, 19, died when a driver slammed into her while she pushed her friend’s stalled car Friday night, according to the Phoenix Police Department.
Her father, Leslie Melvin, didn’t understand the severity of the situation at first.
"When they called me, I thought they said they were just in a car accident,” he said, not realizing she had died from her injuries.
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"She was laying on the street all under the tarp,” said Melvin’s father, sharing his observation of the crash after he had gotten here. “It was pretty bad.”
Phoenix police said Melvin was in a car with three friends on Broadway Road near 32nd Street. The car broke down, so Melvin and two others got out to push.
That's when another driver slammed into them, hitting and killing only Melvin.
Family members got together Saturday afternoon to help each other cope and to remember Melvin, who her family describes a hard worker who brought joy to everyone.
"She was the life of the party with all her friends,” said her father. “We got all of these videos of her dancing at church."
Her dancing lead to dreams of getting accepted to Juilliard, the New York school of performing arts.
What she planned, and the life her family thought she was meant to live, is no more.
"This morning [while] I was trying to sleep, a couple of times I muted my TV, because I thought I heard her coming in the house,” said Mr. Melvin.
The family said they will try to accept that she will never walk through the front door, wondering what they could have done differently.
"We [could have gone] to that dance that she wanted to go to that I didn't take her to,” he said. “Kiara wasn't sick. She's not old. These are those ones that you know that shouldn't have happened but happened."
The driver stopped after the crash and cooperated with the investigation.
Police officials said they don’t think alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash.