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Family says girl who was hit by car is brain dead

One of the last things Malayah McClendon heard before a car struck her Wednesday night was that her mother would protect her, a family member told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Now the 5-year-old is brain dead, her aunt, Erica Willoughby, said by phone from a hospital room at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston on Thursday afternoon.

Malayah was afraid of a dog barking nearby and her mother, Brittiney Milligan, wanted to comfort her on the walk back from the store about 7:45 p.m., Willoughby said.

“Mommy got you,” Milligan told her daughter as she looked both ways on Flint River Road in Jonesboro. Then everything went black, and the next thing Milligan heard was a woman screaming, Willoughby said.

“She called me while she was lying in the street and said, ‘I need you, sis,’” Willoughby said.

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A car had struck both Milligan and Malayah, who hit the windshield, Willoughby said.

“(Milligan) was trying to get up and couldn’t to move her body,” Willoughby told The AJC. “Malayah was on the other side of the street.”

RELATED: Mother, child hit by car crossing road in Clayton County

The little girl wasn’t breathing and Milligan couldn’t move; her right leg was broken. That’s what Willoughby said her sister told her when she called.

By the time Willoughby got to the scene, Milligan was in an ambulance headed to the hospital.

On Thursday, doctors told the family McClendon is brain dead. They plan to remove life support at 8 a.m. Friday if there is no improvement overnight, Willoughby said.

“The machines are keeping her breathing,” Willoughby said.

Milligan, who works as a waitress at Waffle House, has no health insurance for her injuries and she didn’t have life insurance for Malayah, who had just started preschool this year, Willoughby said.

Police haven’t filed charges against the driver who struck the mother and child Wednesday night. That person stayed on the scene, Clayton County police spokeswoman Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said.

But an investigation is ongoing.

The girl’s father is on his way to Georgia from Florida and the family is praying for help and raising money via a GoFundMe campaign.

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