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Family still mourning six-year-old's death after 2017 hit-and-run

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The family of six-year-old Maliyah Davis is opening up exclusively to ABC 57 News for the first time since the little girl was killed in a fatal hit-and-run crash in 2017.

“I told her we would be together forever, and now that has been broken, because she’s gone,” said Maliyah's aunt, Keyaire Carter.

In August 2017, two cars collided at the corner of Vassar Avenue and O'Brien Street in South Bend, killing six-year-old Davis.

Her brother and grandmother, who was driving the car, survived.

The other driver Reka Phillips, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene Monday.

Now, Maliyah's grandmother, Victoria Carter, is also facing the following charges:

  • Felony 1 - Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death
  • Felony 3 - Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Serious Injury
  • Felony 5 - Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Bodily Injury
  • Felony 6 - Neglect of a Dependent 

The minimum sentence for a level one felony is 20 years.

“I still can’t believe this happened," said Keyaire.

She says it doesn't get any easier.

“It don’t feel the same without her. It feel like she’s missing, and you can tell she’s missing, because you can’t hear her voice anymore," said Keyaire.

All she's left with are pictures of her niece and mental images of the moment she lost her.

“I saw my mom’s truck being pulled on the thing, and her bumper messed up...and I called my sister, and she’s yelling and screaming, she’s gone, she’s gone. She’s dead. She’s dead," she said.

Keyaire blames the driver of the Chrysler 300, Reka Phillips.

“I think she should be charged for more, not just leaving the scene. She killed my niece, so I think she should be charged for more," she said.

The prosecutor maintains that Phillips did nothing wrong but leave the scene.

Still, little Maliyah, who would have turned seven in February, is the one who paid the ultimate price.

“Beautiful, loved to sing and dance. She loved to color. She loved all the colors, and she always just called me her sister even though I was her auntie," said her auntie Keyaire.

She says they called Maliyah their little piggy.

So now, a little piggy sits guarding the spot where she took her last breath.

Reka Phillips will be sentenced on May 23.

Maliyah's grandmother faces a jury trial in August, almost exactly a year after her granddaughter died.


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