Family of Atlanta toddler killed by van unable to afford burial - WNEM TV 5

Family of Atlanta toddler killed by van unable to afford burial

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Brandy Buffington Brandy Buffington

The family of 2-year-old Brandy Buffington is now trying to find a way to bury the toddler. A van backed over and killed Brandy Tuesday afternoon after dropping off a group of children at an apartment building in southwest Atlanta.

The child's grandmother, Priscilla Smith, says the family cannot afford funeral arrangements for the 2-year-old.

Lavonna Jackson works with Smith and has been in constant contact with her since the accident.

"The family is doing as well as we can expect under the circumstances, they're holding up. But they're devastated," Jackson told CBS Atlanta reporter Donna Rapado.

"They could not afford to bury the baby and asked if I could help," she continued

That's exactly what Jackson did, along with other co-workers at Aid Atlanta.

They created the website to help raise money for the funeral and they gathered cash at the office. The agency even stepped up with its own donation: a burial plot it uses for its own clients.  

"It was one of our first orders of business," said Smith's boss, Jose Diaz. "To donate one of the plots that we have here at Aid Atlanta for her family so that Brandy could get a proper burial. It's very important to us."

Atlanta police investigators said the van had just dropped off a group of children at an apartment complex at 700 University Ave.

The driver did not see Brandy playing behind the van as it backed out of the parking lot. Rescue crews rushed the girl to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she died within the hour.

Neighbors lined the street, many in tears and in shock.

"There's a lot of emotion on scene. Anytime there's a child involved, something like this, it's very emotional," said Officer John Chafee.

Many small children who live in the apartments were outside watching and playing as investigators arrived. One woman said the children often play too close to, or on, the dead-end street.

The woman chose to stay anonymous while telling CBS Atlanta she always yells at the kids to get out of the street.

"See, there's no recreation center, there's no playground," she explained. "It's a problem where not just are they unsupervised, there's nowhere for the kids to be."

Police have not charged the van driver. They are still investigating.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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