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UPDATE: Family of Toddler Hit and Killed by Van Speaks Out

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 19, 2013--- 5:15 p.m.
By Britni McDonald

Family members of one-year-old Taliliyonna Garrett, or Lily, released ballons into the air on East Washington Ave. where she died last week.

"We love Lily. We're going to miss her so much," said Lily's grandfather, Johnnie Collins.

"I didn't know what to do. My world was upside down," said Lily's cousin, Daejah Gutierrez.

Lily's aunt, Nicquan Gutierrez, said, "It hurts. It doesn't make sense. She should be here. She hadn't even really started living yet."

They say they still have a lot of questions like why her mother, 31-year-old Raya Hansen, was out with Lily in the middle of the night and why she was using a wheelchair. Her father said hansen had many strollers.

However, they don't blame her. They say it was an accident, and she's a good mother.

"We know that Raya loves her kids deeply, and we know that she would do anything for her kids," said Gutierrez.

Raya is a mother of three other children. Family members say Raya and the father have joint custody.

Gutierrez said, "They co-parent very well together."

But they both also have criminal histories. In fact, Hansen is now being held at Dane County Jail on a probation hold, taken into custody the day after the incident.

While questions remain, their focus is on Lily and putting her to rest.

So far, Hansen has not been charged with anything related to Lily's death. Police say they are still investigating.

Family members have created a memorial fund in Taliliyonna Garrett's name at Summit Credit Union for help with burial costs.

The funeral is this Friday.
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UPDATED Friday, February 15, 2013 ---- 11:36 a.m.

The mother of the child that was killed on East Washington Ave. in Madison yesterday has been taken into custody on a probation hold.

Police identified her as 31-year-old Raya M. Hansen.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 4:52 p.m.
By: Barclay Pollak

Flashing light's cut through the darkness at about 3:30 this morning on the 3700 block of East Washington Avenue. A 31-year-old woman and her 18-month-old child were headed to a Walgreen's.

They'd almost made it to their destination but the woman thought she dropped a baby bottle. She stopped to check and that's when the unthinkable happened.

Madison Police Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain says, " The next thing she hears a crash."

The wheelchair the woman was using as a stroller rolled into traffic. The child was hit by a 53-year-old man from McFarland. He was on his way to the Dane County Regional airport to drop off a passenger.

The investigation is still in its early stages but police don't believe alcohol was a factor.

DeSpain says, " One of the initial officers reports that there was no smell of alcohol on the mother. Both the mother and the driver of the van, which would be protocol for us, went to the hospital and there was a blood draw taken which they both consented to having done. "

This afternoon we did learn more about the mother. She didn't give police a permanent address and told them she is staying at a Motel 6 a few blocks from the accident. Police aren't sure if she's from the area. But they say both the woman and driver are devastated.

When police arrived they say the woman was holding the child. They don't believe the child was in the wheelchair because of any physical limitations. No citations were handed out.

Right now police are still looking for witnesses. If you know anything about this incident you're asked to call the Madison Police Department.
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UPDATED Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 1:20 p.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

The baby girl, injured in this morning’s traffic accident, died at a hospital, not long after the crash. Her 31-year old mother told police that she was walking on the north side of E. Washington Ave. around 3:30 a.m. She was using a wheelchair to transport her 1 ½ year old as she walked. The wheelchair was being used like a stroller.

The mother says she was in the 3700 block when she left the wheelchair unattended for a short period of time. She did so because she believed she had dropped a baby bottle, and she wanted to retrace her steps in an attempt to find it. She then heard a crash, and said it appeared the wheelchair rolled down a driveway and into the street.

The driver of a van, a 53-year old McFarland man, said he did not see the wheelchair but heard a noise and realized he must have struck something. He stopped immediately, and was very distraught over the accident. There was no evidence that he was impaired. The collision remains under investigation.

Anyone who saw the crash, or who has information on the case, is asked to call the MPD's Traffic Unit at 266-4060.

UPDATED Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 10:12 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A 1-year-old girl struck by a vehicle on a Madison street has died of her injuries.

Police say the girl was in a wheelchair which her mother was using as a stroller when she rolled down an embankment and onto East Washington Ave. about 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

The child was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Authorities say the driver who hit the girl remained at the scene and is cooperating.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 9:36 a.m.

Madison Police tell us the child in this case has died.

Officers believe the mother was using the wheelchair as a stroller.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 14, 2013 --- 8:23 a.m.

Incident Report from the Madison Police Department:

Incident Type: Accident - Injury

Incident Date: 02/14/2013 - 3:32 AM

Address: 3700 blk. E. Washington Av

Victim: 1 1/2 year old girl with life threatening injuries

Details: A mother and her daughter were in the 3700 blk. E. Washington Av. The daughter was in a wheelchair near the sidewalk. The wheelchair rolled down the embankment, into the street and was struck by a passing vehicle.

The child was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. The investigation is continuing.

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Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013 -- 5:45 a.m.

A child in a wheelchair was hit by a vehicle at 3:30 a.m.on East Washington Avenue in Madison.

According to LT. Strand with the Madison Police Department. - 1 1/2 year old in a wheelchair was hit by the vehicle after the wheelchair rolled into the street. The child was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The mother was with the child at the time, but was not injured . The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and is assisting law enforcement with their investigation.


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