Family identifies girl killed in Union Co. crash as 11-year-old - | WBTV Charlotte

Family identifies girl killed in Union Co. crash as 11-year-old with beautiful heart

(Photos courtesy the Short family and CJRA) (Photos courtesy the Short family and CJRA)
(Photo courtesy of the Short family) (Photo courtesy of the Short family)
UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A girl killed in a motorcycle crash in Union County Sunday has been identified by family as 11-year-old Laila Short. 

Officials say the crash happened around 2 p.m. on Ridge Road near Roanoke Church Road. 

Family spokesperson Erik Saxon says Short's cousin was taking her for a ride when they were hit by a pickup truck. Short was airlifted to the hospital and died, Saxon says. Short's cousin suffered a lacerated liver and an injured foot. 

Saxon, director of Charlotte Junior Rugby, says Laila was a special player on and off the field.  

“She was truly a warrior princess. Big bright eyes. She’s got that fire and that spark. But she put the boys on their butts when she was playing,” he said.

Laila had been playing rugby for the past three years.

“She’s like me, she’s a hugger and literally a few times a week as soon as I get to practice and as soon as I leave practice it was a hug from her,” Saxon said.

The statement below is from Laila's father, Richard:

Laila’s heart was so beautiful. She always just wanted to make everyone smile. She loved her cousin very much. He was driving during the accident.  

The family wants people to know how hard it is to believe he (the cousin) ran a stop sign, as he never would do that without something having gone wrong.  Even today two hours after a second surgery to save his liver,  he ripped out his breathing tube out so he could ask the nurse how Laila was.  

This is a heartbreaking time for our family.   Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

"Our rugby community is wrecked by the loss of Laila and we’ve set up a GoFundMe to help with the cost of the airlift/ medical bills, meals for the family, and funeral expenses," Saxon says. "No words or actions can take away the pain this family is in right now. To lose a child – a beautiful, happy, mischievous, wonderful rugby warrior princess is not something the human heart is designed to endure."      

MOBILE USERS: Click here to see photos of Laila provided by family and CJRA 

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, May 26, at Mill Grove United Methodist, 7311 Mill Grove Road, Indian Trail, NC 28079. The gathering is at 6 p.m. followed by the funeral service at 7:30 p.m.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Laila's name to Levine Children's Hospital.

A donator to the GoFundMe posted, "Laila gave the best hugs and was a warrior princess on the pitch. We miss her terribly."     

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