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Raleigh family coping with loss of 5-year-old

Posted May 30, 2011

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— Family members of a 5-year-old girl killed Sunday afternoon while playing on a neighbor's front porch are reeling from the tragedy that took the life of their "special little girl."

"She was a very happy baby, very happy," her mother, Rachelle Gross, said Monday.

Raleigh police say Gross' daughter, Nadia Hines, died when a car, driven by Sia Elizabeth Byass, crashed into the steps outside 4916-A N. New Hope Road.

Four-year-old Kamyah Wright was injured in the crash but was treated and released from a local hospital.

Nadia's father, Harvey Hines, said he was inside preparing to cook a barbecue dinner for family and friends when he saw a car driving into the yard.

"I just rushed outside to see what happened, and what I saw was devastating," he said.

Now, he is leaning on family, friends and faith to help cope with his loss.

"We are a God-fearing family, and we know God has His hand on us right now," he said. "He's here for us."

Still, family members say, it's a difficult time for them. On this Memorial Day, all they have left are memories.

Nadia Hines Raleigh family coping with loss of 5-year-old

Nadia, Hines said, had a smile that made an impression on just about everyone who met her.

"She was a happy baby, a happy child, that loved to play and loved to get to know you and wanted you to get to know her," he said.

"Nadia could feel when you're upset," he added. "She could feel our emotions when we were going through something."

She was getting ready to graduate next month from pre-kindergarten and was excited to go to kindergarten next year at Wakefield Elementary School.

She loved McDonald's chicken nuggets, singing gospel music and Justin Bieber songs and had an American Idol impression that her father just couldn't get enough of.

"'You're going to Hollywood!" she would say," Hines said. "I have to have her do it at least five times. I get a kick out of it."

Nadia also leaves behind a 7-year-old sister, Miracle, who has asked when her sister would be coming home.

"Nadia's in heaven, and she's looking down on us, and she's in a better place," Hines said. "(Miracle now) understands that."

Raleigh police said Byass, 37, lost control of her car on New Hope Road and crashed into the steps where Nadia was playing.

Byass, who is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, careless and reckless driving, was released from jail Sunday after posting bond. Police said she was also driving with unsafe tires that created a hazard to the public.

Her first court appearance is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday. She could not be reached for comment Monday.

Funeral arrangements for Nadia were not complete Monday evening.


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  • ednarideout Jun 1, 2011

    This is sad i used to live right in the apt. where that car ran into. I remember always telling my kids to stay on the step because that is where we thought it wwas safe. Shelly and Harvey the parents are the nicest couple that i ever meet im very sorry for thier lost!

  • LocalYokel May 31, 2011

    Wilkow Majority, People who get tickets complain and thats expected behavior. Some of them even learn from their mistakes. Just because people complain, doesn't mean we should stop giving them tickets. People complain about taxes and that doesn't make the taxes go away.

    Catching a bad driver is the same thing catching an attempted murderer. We all know the results of bad driving: people die and property is damaged. Ticketing is a public safety issue over a revenue issue or its a public safety AND a revenue issue. Isn't public safety why we have a police department in the first place?

  • YNCSW51 May 31, 2011

    My prayers are with the family.

  • working for deadbeats May 31, 2011

    Giving my comments to the media after something like this would be my last priority. If it ever was a priority.

  • working for deadbeats May 31, 2011

    "Under enforcement of the traffic laws is a strong contributing factor to why there are so many tragic deaths and injuries on our roads. Our police officers are MIA when it comes to traffic law enforcement." localyokel

    And when they do enforce the traffic laws, everybody complains. You know how it goes, "they should be catching murderers instead of colleting revenue". When DWI check points are set up, people complain. When SHP has speeding enforcement campaigns, everybody complains. How does law enforcement win you people? Tell us, you know all.

  • LocalYokel May 31, 2011

    Under enforcement of the traffic laws is a strong contributing factor to why there are so many tragic deaths and injuries on our roads.

    Our police officers are MIA when it comes to traffic law enforcement.

  • dldobbins May 31, 2011

    My....this family is better than I would be. I don't think I could do an interview with the press after my 5 year old was killed whether it was an accident or not. My heart and prayers go out to this family though they are much stronger than I could ever be.

  • Iworkforaliving May 31, 2011

    somtimes oops, i'm sorry, it was an accident or I didn't mean to just doesn't cut it. It shouldn't have happened.

  • boneymaroney13 May 30, 2011

    Not a way to have a holiday. Best to the family.

  • Caring May 30, 2011

    RIP Baby! Prayers go out to the family!