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Dozens gather to honor the life of 6-year-old killed in crash connected to racing

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 12:07 AM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Dozens of people gathered along U.S. 74 in Gaston County Wednesday night to honor the life of a little boy who was killed in a crash Saturday.

The crash happened shortly before 9:30 p.m. Saturday night on U.S. 74 near Sparrow Springs Road. 6-year-old Liam Lagunas, of Monroe, died because of injuries sustained in the crash. Liam’s father was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

Troopers said two cars were racing, traveling between 90 and 100 mph, when one of the cars lost control, crashed through the median and hit a car traveling the opposite direction head-on. Lagunas and his father were in the car that was hit.

Lagunas’ parents returned to the crash site for Wednesday night’s vigil. The little boy’s father was pushed in a wheelchair while his mother was comforted by loved ones. A crowd formed around the small memorial along the highway. Law enforcement controlled traffic so those in attendance could grieve together along the side of the road.

Lagunas’ family members spoke fondly of the little boy Wednesday.

“Liam was such a smart, beautiful, funny little boy – brightens your whole day up no matter what,” said Lacee Glasglow, a friend of Lagunas’ mother.

The grieving mom was comforted throughout the evening, but was overcome with sadness.

“This is the worst thing that could ever happen in someone’s life. She don’t even know how she’s gonna live without him,” said Glasgow.

Lagunas’ grandmother, Wendy Salazar, explained how hard the little boy’s death has been on the family.

“It’s been extremely heartbreaking. You have your moments. You wake up, you cry a lot,” said Salazar.

While Wednesday night’s gathering allowed loved ones to grieve, family members also took the opportunity to send a message: speeding is dangerous and the consequences can be gut-wrenching.

“Just please watch your speed. Please don’t race. Please don’t come out here and be a fool. You never know. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt,” said Glasgow.

Sara McCormick, Lagunas’ aunt, explained that she too hopes the deadly crash will raise awareness about the dangers of speeding.

“If we can prevent another child from dying, we don’t want Liam’s death to be in vain,” said McCormick.

Troopers have said the driver of the speeding car involved in the wreck was taken to the hospital in critical condition. The driver of the other racing car stayed at the scene of the crash.

Troopers said charges are pending.

A GoFundMe page has been created to provide financial assistance to Lagunas’ family.

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