A 9-year-old girl was killed Friday evening after being struck by a car. Shakayla Watkins, a rising fourth-grader at North Aiken Elementary School, was struck at 8:32 p.m. Friday by a 1997 Ford traveling north on Laurens Street while she was attempting to cross the road with her sister and friends. The group was walking home from a football scrimmage at Aiken High School. No one else was injured in the accident.According to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton, Watkins was pronounced dead Friday at the Medical College of Georgia after sustaining multiple body trauma. Her death is being investigated by the Aiken Department of Public Safety and the Aiken County Coroner's Office. "There are no charges pending against the driver of the vehicle who was not speeding or in any way contributed to the child's death," said Carlton in a press release. This is the 28th fatality in Aiken County this year.Watkins' family and friends spent Saturday trying to come to terms with the situation. "My darling little Shakayla, you were mamma's pride and joy. You were the best child a mother could receive; I will always remember your beautiful smile and your laughter that you gave to us daily. You will be greatly missed but never forgotten. You will forever live in our hearts and continue making everyone smile in heaven as you did on earth," said her mother Shamki Watkins."KayKay was a very sweet granddaughter. She was quiet and very intelligent. She was just lovely to be around," said Gwen Stevens, her grandmother. "We loved her so much and she will truly be missed.""She was my heart. She always brought me stuff she made in school," said Sallie Stevens, Watkins' great-grandmother. "She will always be in my heart."Other family members shared similar memories of Shakayla."She was such a sweet child," said Loresa Gray, her great-aunt. "She is like an angel to me.""My sister Shakayla was a good sister. She was very loving and always cared. You could never be around her without a smile on your face; she kept everyone laughing, and she had lots of people who cared and lover her. She left us too soon, and she will never be forgotten. R.I.P., my baby sister," said Teondra Watkins. "Kayla was like family to me, and I loved her to death. She always made me laugh and smile. I have many memories with her. It was so unexpected, I didn't even get to say goodbye, but I know she is in a better place," said Tonya Rucker, a friend."It's just not real to me. I can't believe it. I keep hoping it's a dream, I miss her too much," said Demetra Smith, a friend.Funeral arrangements, which will be announced at a later date, are being handled by G.L. Brightharp & Sons Mortuary. Contact Rachel Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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