Harrisburg, 4, Killed in Scooter Crash, Youngest of 6: “They’re All In Pain Right Now”
As the youngest of six, 4-year-old Noraa Wilson was determined to follow her siblings.
She learned to ride a scooter on her own and got interested in fashion.
“She wanted to be a big girl,” said Eddie Brunelle, her great-uncle.
In turn, the siblings worshiped Noraa and constantly played together. Her brothers even made fun of her when she wanted to paint her toenails.
On Monday, Noraa got on a scooter with her older brother Shayne Mcquay, 9, to visit a convenience store two blocks away. They were with their 8 year old sister, who was on foot. They had $ 5 to share for snacks.
After leaving the store on 15th and Herr streets, the sister walked into the crosswalk first. Shayne then did what he was taught: he looked both sides of Herr Street, then started kicking to propel the scooter across the street.
But a car was approaching North 15th which he did not see. The car collided with the scooter, knocking down Shayne and fatally injuring Noraa. She died in hospital.
Shayne suffered scratches and bruises and now blames herself for her sister’s death.
“He continues to apologize,” Brunelle said. “Physically, everything will be fine. But emotionally, it’s going to be very hard. We gather around him.
The brothers still have the nail polish on their toes that Noraa applied.
“They’re all in pain right now,” Brunelle said. “The kids are young and understand what’s going on. They realize that she is not coming back. This is the hardest part, watching them learn about death when they are so young and so close to home.
One thing that helps is the way the community rallies around the family, Brunelle said, including the police department. Blake Lynch, director of community relations for the department, started an online fundraiser to help the family with unforeseen funeral expenses and counseling for siblings who witnessed the accident.
The department has stepped up efforts previously and worked closely with families when children have been killed in tragedies, but this is the first time police have launched a fundraiser.
The girl’s death had an impact on officers who responded, said Lynch, and Lynch himself, who appeared at the scene after the crash.
“It affects us all deeply and we want to help,” Lynch said.
Brunelle said he was hopeful the tragedy could spur some safety improvements at the intersection.
The way the road is now, there are blind spots, Brunelle said. Neighbors agreed the intersection needed a traffic light or additional measures to make it safe.
Currently there are stop signs on 15th Street at the junction with Herr. There are also crosswalks at three of the legs of the intersection, but not all of them.
The traffic pattern also changes from two lanes on Herr Street to a single parking lane, with the change occurring at the intersection.
“I’m 47 and I’ve walked through this intersection a thousand times and almost been hit,” Brunelle said. “You get to Herr and there’s no stop sign or speed bump or anything. But you can’t see what’s going on at the intersection until you get there because it’s on top of a hill.
“Now we have an accident which has turned into a tragedy,” he said.
The family is not angry with the driver, an older woman who came from a church.
“Our goal is forgiveness,” Brunelle said. “Nothing can bring Noraa back. I’m sure the woman who hit her is just as distraught. She remained at the scene. She helped at the scene.
Neighbors and others stepped in to help as well, which illustrates why Brunelle said he loved the town of Harrisburg.
Her family members are all longtime residents of the city. Noraa’s name is her father’s name spelled backwards. His name is Aaron Wilson and he was very close to Noraa, Brunelle said.
Noraa’s mother, Chymiere Taylor, was picking up a car part from the store when the accident happened. Now she is grappling with loss and its impact on the most mundane activities every day.
“If she goes to the store and wants to buy burgers for the kids, she says, ‘I always buy six burgers. How am I going to learn to buy five? ‘ », Declared Brunelle.
Family members hope the crash will prompt drivers to be extra careful this summer when more children are out.
“It only takes three seconds to stop or slow down and take another look,” Brunelle said. “We don’t want anyone else to miss the summer or the rest of their life because of three seconds.”
Anyone interested in helping the family can donate to this online fundraiser.
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