Mother remembers her 11-year-old daughter killed in Dryden car crash

DRYDEN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - It’s never easy to lose someone so close to the holidays, but a Tompkins County family is coming together to remember an 11-year-old who was killed after she was hit by a car on Sunday.

Kaylee Wacht was walking along an unlit road with a friend when she was fatally struck by a driver.

Kaylee’s mother, Kimberly Wacht, sat down with NewsChannel 9, telling us she’s focused on remembering how Kaylee lived, rather than how she died.

"She was my first you know? She was the one who taught me how to be a mom and gave me a purpose… she was my purpose,” Kimberly said. “I would love for her to walk through that door with her bright face and her pretty smile.”

She and Kaylee had their moments—Kaylee was a typical preteen, willful, determined and fearless.
Her family remembers her as an avid cheerleader, and her mother said, “for as long as I live, people will be telling stories about the little girl who did backflips in her stilettos.”

Kaylee wasn't alone on the night she died—after decorating the family Christmas tree, Kaylee and her friend Kristin decided to go for a walk.

Kristin, who has been living with the family for months was injured that night but then released from the hospital.

Kimberly describes the girls as more like sisters.

As the family prepares for Kaylee's funeral next week, Kim hopes every parent will always keep their children close

“Hug 'em... kiss em. Any chance you get. Whether they get upset, just grab them because you never know. If I could just hug and kiss (her) one last time time... because I didn't and now she's gone,” Kimberly said.


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