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Vigil held for mother of 7 killed in crash on Detroit's east side

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Posted at 11:15 PM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-02 23:15:32-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — On Sunday evening, a mother of three was remembered during a candlelight vigil at the same place she was tragically killed the night before.

Jiwyna Harlan, 33, and three of her seven children — ages 12, 5 and 5 — were involved in a crash at the intersection of Seymour and Chalmers Saturday around 4:45 p.m. The three children survived, but Harlan died at the scene of the crash.

According to police, the crash was caused by an 18-year-old male driving a stolen Dodge Challenger at a high rate of speed. The 18-year-old, along with another male in the stolen vehicle, were taken into custody at the scene. A weapon was also recovered from the stolen vehicle.

Shirley Butts, Harlan's younger sister, told 7 Action News that Harlan was her best friend and a loving, caring person. Harlan was on her way to celebrate her father's anniversary dinner.

“My sister was my world. We had this relationship where when I called no matter what we would be there for each other," said Shirley Butts, Harlan's sister.

Butts told 7 Action News Harlan was an organ donor, who's now saved other lives.

“That goes to show what type of person she was. Even though this happened, she gave organs and tissue to save 150 lives,” Butts said. "“She was the type of person that if you were hungry or needed a place to stay, she would open her doors to literally anyone who needed a place to stay.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help pay for the funeral costs.