Matthews' family fighting for guardrails after 7-year-old's trag - | WBTV Charlotte

Matthews' family fighting for guardrails after 7-year-old's tragic death

(Photo provided by family) (Photo provided by family)

Some people keep their grief inside, but Ali Chaudhary and his family want everyone to know about the beautiful life they lost. Hanging in their front window are the letters "LYLA" painted bright pink.

"I'm still in shock. And thank God for the shock because if we didn't have the shock in our lives of not really fully being aware that she's gone, I don't know what we would have done," Ali said.

Lyla was a bright light in her father's life. 

"She was creative, she loved art, she loved to play, her smile was just infectious. Her eyes were big, blue and beautiful," he said.

But two weeks ago, she was in the car with her grandfather when they slid down an embankment on Sam Newell Road in Matthews. Lyla was killed and her 7-year-old cousin is still in critical condition.

Friday, Matthews Police announced the grandfather, Ali's father, would not be charged.

"I mean, mentally I could say he's dead. He blames himself. Even though we believe it was an accident, he still thinks that it's his fault," Ali said. 

But he believes his daughter did not have to die.

"I feel it could have been prevented. People say it could have been prevented, just with a simple guardrail," he said.

There is no barrier between the road and the steep drop-off where the crash happened. Lyla's parents think there should be.

A petition has been started to urge NCDOT to act before someone else gets hurt. It already has 2,100 signatures. 

"To think that something that cost just a few dollars could have saved my baby's life," Ali said.

His little girl may be gone forever, but this father hopes to find comfort in Lyla's loss saving someone else.

"One life, it doesn't have to be a child, it can be an adult. What is a life compared to a few thousand dollars from the state," he said. 

Next Saturday, a fundraiser will be held for Lyla's family and her cousin, Riley, who is recovering in the hospital at Rack Em' in Matthews. 

To sign the petition, click here.

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