A local family celebrates the life of daughter killed in a car accident

CRAWFORD, Miss. (WCBI) – July 24th marks the seventh anniversary of the car accident killing 3-year-old Tanyla Allen.

“It’s just a feeling in my chest I can’t even explain right now,” mother Catarina Harkins said.

It’s a day that changed Catarina Harkins’ life forever. In 2014, her daughter, Taniyla was killed in a car accident.

“He gave her to me for 3 years. So, and I just cherish every moment that me and her had, everybody had. And, that’s why I think everybody loves this day also. Because it feels like, it really feels like she’s here with me,” Harkins said.

Every year, Harkins sets aside a day to commemorate Nyla’s life. The annual day of remembrance is also a time to provide some fun activities for children in their community – things Nyla would enjoy.

“Jumpers, swimming, water, summertime was her favorite because she could be outside all day long. So, that being said, family, people being around, she was very much family-oriented very social, friendly. So yea I feel like it makes her proud,” Harkins said.

There were balloons, bouncy castles, and food for Nyla Day, but Harkins said the support from family and friends means the most.

“The community knew Nyla and Nyla, pretty much the community, when they say it takes a village to help raise a child, that’s true,” Harkins said.

And while she still grieves the loss, for Harkins, the day is a celebration.

“Now that I think about it, she did have this glow about her like, and it was so beautiful. This was the day that she gained her wings. Yea she was already an angel, but she, she actually gained her angel wings,” Harkins said.

The family held a parade early today that went past the site of the accident in Crawford.

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