'Ball of sunshine': Family describes girl, 3, killed in wreck

Tylia pictured with her parents: Tyrone and Amanda Hicks

By Nikki

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) The 3-year-old girl killed in a fatal accident on Spruill Avenue was just days away from celebrating her birthday, according to family.

Police say Tylia Hicks was ejected from her father's truck and later died at Medical University Hospital.

On Tuesday,{}a wreath hung from the home of Tyrone and Amanda Hicks in remembrance of their daughter, whose life was taken much too soon.

"We never thought in a million years that today, we would bet getting ready to bury a 3-year-old ball of sunshine," said Aaron Hicks, the little girl's uncle.

Aaron Hicks says his niece would have celebrated her fourth birthday on Saturday. Instead, he says, they will celebrate her life that day by holding her funeral at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

Police say the little girl died after she was ejected from her father's truck -- not even a mile from her home.

"As they were heading that way, my mom was standing at her church directly across the street and she saw them going down that way. No more than 20{}minutes later, she got the phone call that Tyrone had been in an accident,"{}Aaron Hicks{}said.

Police say Tyrone Hicks was driving on Spruill Avenue when he struck a curb and telephone pole. His truck continued to spin, and Tylia was thrown from the vehicle.

"We're holding up by the grace of God right now, knowing that she's in God's arms," said Aaron Hicks.

Aaron Hicks{}says his brother and wife remain in the hospital.

"Amanda, who's my sister-in-law, she sustained some injuries to her leg," he said. "My brother fractured his ribs a lot and had a tough time breathing but by the grace of God, he's out of ICU and in a regular room now."

Aaron Hicks says the accident happened after his brother had a seizure behind the wheel.

"He had a stroke six years ago and a brain aneurism where he spent over a month in the hospital," he said.

While Monday's wreck has left a lasting scar on the Hicks family, Aaron Hicks says his family's tragedy should be a wake up call for everyone else.

"Hug your loved one and don't leave home mad because you don't know what tomorrow beholds. You don't know the hour or second, death may come at your door," he warned.

Family members say all three were wearing their seat belts. Police say it has not been determined whether or not the child was restrained and the accident is still under investigation.

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