TAYLOR (WXYZ) — Twelve-year-old Phoebe Elliot had a smile that lit up a room and a spirit that everyone loved.
"She just loved to tell so many funny jokes," said one of her former cheerleading coaches for the Allen Park Bulldogs. "She always loved to come to practice and put a smile on everyone's face."
Around midnight Wednesday, Phoebe was riding in the passenger seat of her aunt's car. They were on the way to pick up newspapers to distribute.
Phoebe's aunt was driving west on North Line Road and had just passed over the northbound lanes of Telegraph. They had the green light, but just as they were passing the southbound lanes, a speeding vehicle ran the red light and broadsided the vehicle Phoebe and her aunt were in.
Behind the wheel of the vehicle that hit them was a 20-year-old man from Taylor who is no stranger to trouble, according to police who tell 7 Action News that their most recent contact with the man was last week on an assault case.
Taylor police obtained a search warrant so that the man's blood could be drawn and analyzed for alcohol and drugs. Police said it's possible that he ingested drugs prior to getting on the road and causing the deadly crash.
Taylor Police Chief John Blair said if they learn that the suspect was intoxicated or impaired by drugs, he could be facing a charge of second-degree murder.
A friend of Phoebe's family started a GoFundMe to help raise money to cover the cost of her funeral. The goal has been raised to $20,000 and, at last check, over $17,000 had been raised.
The following was written on the GoFundMe page for funeral expenses for Phoebe Elliot:
Phoebe was a beautiful soul who was tragically taken away from this world too soon. She was a caring sibling, a wonderful student, and a blessing sent from God. Her young life was cut too short by a careless, drunk driver.
Please consider helping her aunt and uncle in this time of need. They took her and her siblings into their home when Phoebe was very young, and provided a life that she deserved.
Any donations received will go toward funeral expenses. Thank you and God bless you.
You can make a donation to Phoebe's family via GoFundMe here.