The memory of a 2-year-old curly-haired girl was buoyed by candlelight that glowed through umbrellas as people gathered Sunday night, despite the rain, to stand vigil at a Rohnert Park intersection where she died.
A family friend told the group that Calli Murray, who would have turned 3 on Christmas Day, was already as smart as a kindergartner. Peter Qu, a pastor at Rohnert Park Chinese Christian Church, said a prayer in Mandarin, the native language of the bilingual child's mother.
Calli was killed Wednesday when she and her mother, Ling Murray, were struck by a car in the crosswalk at Snyder Lane and Medical Center Drive.
Girl, 2, Killed In Rohnert Park
Ling Murray, 40, opened her eyes Sunday for the first time since the accident, her step-father-in-law, Al Andres of Hartley, Del. told more than 50 family members, friends and strangers who showed up at 7:30 p.m. despite the persistent drizzle.
The Rohnert Park mother remains in a medically-induced coma and will undergo multiple surgeries for broken bones and other injuries, he said. Ling Murray's husband, Jeff Murray, was at her side Sunday at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and would light a candle for Calli's memory as well, Andres said.
"Ling knows that Calli didn't make it. I have to tell you, when we told her, her wish at that time was that she'd go with Calli," Andres said. "We need to love and hug each other. I hope you'll say to your parents and your children that you love them tonight."
The group then stood in near silence as the sound of cars whooshed by in the rain.
The Murrays had been playing at the park when they began to return home and began walking, hand-in-hand, into the crosswalk, Rohnert Park Public Safety Department officials said.
Driver Kaitlyn Dunaway, an 18-year-old freshman at Sonoma State University, was heading south on Snyder Lane and didn't stop at the crosswalk, striking the mother and daughter.
Police said Friday that they were still investigating the accident.