Lucama girl hit, killed by pickup remembered as 'precious'
Posted April 1, 2015
Updated April 2, 2015
Lucama, N.C. — Family and friends mourned Thursday for an 11-year-old Lucama girl who died Wednesday afternoon after being hit by a pickup truck.
A pickup driven by Albert Crickmore was westbound on New Sandy Hill Church Road and crested a hill just as Julia Manuel was crossing the road to a mailbox, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.
Julia was a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School in Lucama, where teachers remembered her as vibrant and passionate.
"Julia was a precious, precious girl," Principal Pattie Barnes said Thursday. "(She was) very sweet, had a very innocent smile, was very joyous. We called her 'Ladybug' affectionately, both her teachers and myself."
Grief counselors were at Springfield Middle on Thursday to help students and staff cope with her death, and some parents pulled their children out early because the emotional trauma was too great. Julia's family also stopped by the school.
"We would like to first give all glory to the Lord Jesus Christ for taking care of our baby girl," the family said in a statement. "We are praying for the Crickmore family during this time. We want to thank everyone for their prayers, love and support."
Barnes said Julia, who has a brother in the seventh grade at Springfield Middle, was known around school for baking cupcakes for her classmates and teachers.
"It’s very tough. It’s the first time that I've personally endured something this tough," she said. "Of course, I’ve personally dealt with death before, but for an 11-year-old, precious young girl, it’s very tough."
Troopers said the pickup wasn't speeding before the crash, and no charges have been filed against Crickmore.