BERKELEY (KRON) — In an instant, an accident has changed a family’s lives forever.
And through tears, they have a message for all drivers–slow down. Only on KRON, the Berkeley family spoke with KRON’s Justine Waldman.
The accident happened last week. A young girl, Lillia Bartlow, was with her mother walking home after a PTA meeting when a car ran them over, leaving this child from the East Bay in a wheelchair.
A taxi hit them both while they were in the crosswalk on Claremont Avenue near John Muir Elementary School, which is Lillia’s school. The car crushed the fourth grader.
“He took her away from me, and she was still holding my hand, and I had to let her go,” Lillia’s mother Khadija said.
The girl is as sweet as she is tough even with both of her legs broken, with rods holding them in place.
And now, what this 9-year old girl is going through is heartbreaking.
“It was just a blackout, and then I found myself on the ground,” Lillia said.
While she is not angry at the driver who hit her, she is sharing her story to make sure no other little kid feels her pain.
“I just want to let people know to be careful,” Lillia said. “If you are crossing a place where there is no lights, be careful for the cars.”
Lillia’s father said it is difficult to see his family in so much pain.
“I wouldn’t wish it on an enemy to have to bear witness to their child, suffering the way she does,” he said.
One bright spot is Lillia and her family are huge Cal Berkeley basketball fans.
And to help cheer them all up, the cheerleading team came to the family’s house to visit.
Lillia told Justine the best part was they gave her her own pom-pom.
There is a fundraiser to help the family.
Both parents have stopped working because Lillia needs 24/7 care, and the medical bills keep coming.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for Lilia.
Doctors expect Lilia to make a full recovery and only be in the wheelchair for about a year.
Lillia said she cannot wait to get back to gymnastics, where she was just learning cartwheels.
The taxi driver did stop and was cited for failing to yield to a pedestrian.