Toy drive to honor AZ crash victim fills DUI van with gifts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Toy drive to honor AZ crash victim fills DUI van with gifts

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Toy drive fills Glendale police DUI van with gifts. (Source: Christina Batson) Toy drive fills Glendale police DUI van with gifts. (Source: Christina Batson)
The donated items go to the crisis nursery and Glendale Family Advocacy Center.  (Source: Christina Batson) The donated items go to the crisis nursery and Glendale Family Advocacy Center. (Source: Christina Batson)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

A holiday gift drive in Glendale over the weekend filled a police DUI van with toys to benefit children in need.

Glendale police and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety teamed up in honor of Ellianna Strocchio.

The 3-year-old girl was killed in 2009 by a drunk driver reportedly traveling 92 mph during a beer run.

Ellianna was strapped into a car seat that had been installed by the fire department but still was unable to survive her injuries.

Her mother, Taunya Strocchio, said the intent was to fill a DUI van, normally a sign of the "bad" part of the holidays, with "good" things for children in need.

"As a result of the way Ellie was killed, I have volunteered with local police departments many times at their DUI checkpoints where I share Ellie's story with the officers before their night is to begin," Taunya Strochhio wrote to CBS 5 News.

She added since her daughter's death she has busied herself "with projects to give back and create awareness about safety on our streets with her light as a guide."  

The donated items from Saturday's drive at the Legends Shopping Center at 20221 N. 67th Ave. will go to the crisis nursery and Glendale Family Advocacy Center.   

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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