FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY — Family members are remembering 4-year-old Lilli Newell as a little girl with a great big smile.
Her great-uncle, Lyle Anderson teared up as he shared his memories. “She was a cute little thing, she is a good little angle now.”
Her cousin Claud Button Jr. remembered, “She watched Sesame Street, she talked about that a lot.”
On Thursday afternoon Lilli, her 3-year-old brother Jayden Newell, mother Kelly Lynn Bresnahan, and family friend Tiffany Kowalewski were in Potter County traveling home on Route 6.
Pennsylvania State Police at Coudersport say that Kelly lost control of her 2007 Dodge Caliber, and crossed into the westbound lane, colliding with a Nissan Titan and a Dodge Ram.
Bresnehan, her three passengers, and the driver of the SUV, Michael Merck of Murrysville were all taken to the hospital where later Lilli was pronounced dead.
On Sunday, family members gathered at a place full of happy memories.
The Luzerne County home of Lois Button, Lilli’s great-grandmother who died in December.
Relatives say Lilli and Jayden gave Lois their cat “Lela” so she wouldn’t be lonely, and recalled that Lilli loved to pretend she was cooking lasagna with a toy kitchen in the yard.
Claud Button Sr. says,”She is really going to be missed, everyone knew Lilli’s smile and those bright blue eyes of hers.”
He adds that Kelly will have to heal from both an injury to her liver and the loss of her beloved daughter.
He says, “It is not going to be an easy road for her, we are all here for her if she needs anything, even a shoulder to lean on.”
Relatives say with Jaden being treated at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital following a collapsed lung, and Kelly and Tiffany recoverering in a hospital in Erie, they hope they can visit soon and bring the family together.
Relatives plan to establish a fund on Monday at the Cross-Valley Credit Union in Wilkes-Barre.