Family grieves 7-year-old Parma girl killed in wreck

Family seeks help from community.

BOISE - McKenna Montgomery says she's spent the four days since her little sister was killed in a crash trying to keep herself busy.

"If I think about it too much, I just break down," she said.

Seven-year-old Aiyanna Whiteaker of Parma died Saturday when she was thrown from a pickup truck as it rolled. Idaho State Police say the driver, 65-year-old Martha Booth of Parma, veered off Notus Road and overcorrected, overturning the pickup.

Aiyanna was not wearing a seatbelt. She didn't make it to a hospital.

Montgomery said her family is struggling to come to grips with the loss. She described Aiyannna as a bright, funny girl who was quick to make friends.

"She loved music - she loved everything," Montgomery said. "She loved drawing, she loved animals, she loved being outside, inside, anywhere that there was people. She loved being around people and around family."

Aiyanna and Booth, a relative of the girl's mother's boyfriend, were driving to get lunch when the crash happened. Booth survived, but broke both legs, both hips and her neck. She remains at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, and is scheduled for more surgeries.

Montgomery said she has focused on running errands, helping pick out a burial outfit and finding photos of Aiyanna. The magnitude of the loss did not hit her until Tuesday, when the family went to view her sister's small body at the funeral home, she said.

"Her face was all bruised - it just wasn't her," she said.

The family has collected a stack of pictures in which Aiyanna's personality shines through. The photos show her smiling with siblings, dressed as Elsa from Frozen, and trying to form a heart outline with her hands that "looked more like a pumpkin," according to her sister.

"She's very, very silly," Montgomery said, holding up a photo of Aiyanna raising a fork and smiling widely at breakfast. "We went to Waffle House and she had chocolate from her chin to her forehead. She insisted on more chocolate chips."

A pair of photos showing the girl sitting on the side of a hill in a pink sweatshirt sparked another memory: Montgomery said she had taken her little sister to a coffee shop to get a cookie when Aiyanna had an idea.

"She looked outside and she was like 'do you think that grass is soft?' I told her 'no, probably not, it's starting to become winter,'" Montgomery remembered. "She said, 'we should go sit out there, we should go sit out there and wave to people and maybe they'll look at us.'"

Eventually, Montgomery gave in.

"So we sat out there in the dirt and the sticks because she wanted to say hi to people as they drove by," she said with a smile.

Another picture showed Aiyanna standing with family members in front of the Christmas tree at the Village at Meridian.

"This was a couple Christmases ago: We went down to the Village and she was begging for us to stay, but it was getting so cold," Montgomery said. "We should have stayed longer."

Funeral arrangements for the 7-year-old are still being made.

Local bands are holding a fundraiser to help pay for the funeral and other expenses. The benefit concert will be held Nov. 19 starting at 4 p.m. at Shredder on 10th Street in Boise.

The family has also set up a GoFundMe account to raise money. To contribute, click here. 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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