The family of a young girl critically injured in a multi-car crash along Interstate 95 earlier this week says she has died.
Makayla Panella, 10, suffered serious brain trauma on Tuesday night after the Nissan Altima her mother, Nicole Panella, was driving crashed into the back of an SUV forced to stop suddenly to avoid another accident on the highway in Upper Chichester, Pa., police said.
The girl hit her head and was knocked unconscious in the crash. Investigators say she was sitting the front seat of the car, but did not have her seat belt buckled.
Makayla Panella was rushed to Crozer-Chester Medical Center and eventually transferred to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There, her family says, she passed away on Thursday evening.
Nicole Panella and her 4-year-old son, who was not seated in a proper booster seat in the back of the car, suffered minor injuries and were treated at Crozer-Chester, according to police.
The girl's family started a Facebook page, called Prayers for Makayla, and there shared their thoughts on the crash.
"As you can imagine this tragedy has been one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing we have had to tackle. Outside of our family, the tremendous support we have received from the community and total strangers is completely overwhelming," said cousin MaryAnne DeSantis.
The family has asked relatives and friends to wear purple, Makayla's favorite color, in her honor on Friday.