Family of 19-year-old speaks after her deadly crash in Columbus

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 11:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - 19-year-old Aleyiah Donald had just left her sister’s birthday party when an alert was sent to her mother’s phone. “I was leaving out of the complex, and life 360 went off on my phone,” says Aleyiah’s mother, India Donald. The alert is through an app where families can track one another. Usually she says she ignores the alerts, but she knew this time it was different.

“Usually I just swipe off because you know she is always on the move. And something made me look at it and it said there had been a sudden movement to Aleyiah’s phone, that it could have dropped, or an accident.”

And it was an accident. The teen hit a sign and went up a pole, where she was ejected from her Nissan Maxima. “She flipped like 4 times, went up the pole and got flung out, she was the only person in the car, got flung out her back windshield,” says Donald. Hearing the news that her daughter lost her life hit Donald hard. “My heart had just dropped, and I knew at that instant that she might not come back to me,” says Donald.

According to her mom, the 19-year-old who had dreams of becoming a defense attorney would light up a room. “She was charismatic. She was beautiful, smart, funny the life of the party. The girl loved to turn up, so we are trying to turn up instead of being sad,” says Donald.

And she says even though Aleyiah is not physically with her, she knows she is with her in spirit. “She touched a lot of people’s lives, mine mostly, but now I know she’s my angel,” says Donald.