SHALER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — The Shaler Township community is devastated after an accident over the weekend claimed the life of a little girl when a driver, who was believed to be under the influence, hit her and her mother.

Ava Campbell, 6, was standing in the driveway of a home on Locust Ridge Drive around 10:30 p.m. Saturday with her mom and sister when police say 20-year-old Travis Grayson, of Millvale, lost control of his 2004 Ford Mustang. He came around a bend and struck the child.

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“It was just fate right then and there. She came back from a birthday party. She had those little glowy sticks all over her,” witness Judy Templin Williams said.

Police say Grayson was going 30 miles over the posted speed limit of 25.

“He indicated to the detective that he consumed alcoholic beverages during the day and evening yesterday and smoked marijuana,” Lt. Sean Frank, with Shaler Twp. Police, said.

Grayson told detectives he consumed 10 beers while watching football.

Campbell was a first grader at Marzolf Primary School in Shaler.

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The school district issued this statement:

“The entire Shaler Area School District community is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Ava Campbell this past weekend. Ava was a happy, fun-loving first-grader who lit up any room she entered, and we extend our condolences to her family as we mourn this tremendous loss together. Our District Crisis Team has been activated, and we will have additional counseling services available to staff and students beginning Monday morning.”

Her mother posted this message on Facebook Sunday night:

“I can’t think of anything else but my baby. She was literally taken from my hand. We were holding hands when the car struck and separated us…. What I wouldn’t give to trade places. What I wouldn’t give for one more hug, kiss, I love you. What I wouldn’t give for one more time hearing mommy.”

Grayson is in jail and faces multiple charges including vehicular homicide and driving under the influence.

Judge Robert Dzvonick weighs in on the case:

Multiple funds have been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. If you would like to help, donations can be made at the Allegheny Valley Bank at 2000 Mt. Troy Rd. in Troy Hill in care of Dave and Amber Campbell.

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