Parents of Child Killed in Accident Speak Out


By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- "She brought a lot of joy to a lot of people," says Karen Longstreet, mother of Emma Longstreet.

Karen and David Longstreet fought back tears Tuesday, while talking about their six year old daughter, Emma.

"Emma was very joyful and happy, she was beautiful inside and out," says Karen Longstreet.

Emma was the youngest of four children with three older brothers to look up to.

"She loved playing legos with them and playing kickball with them and trying to keep up with all of them. She loved her 3 brothers and she loved her Daddy," says Karen Longstreet.

But Emma's brothers and her parents lost her New Year's Day.

Tuesday, they recalled their last memories of her.

"I remember getting ready for church that day, just standing there looking at how beautiful she was and how she dressed herself that day," says David Longstreet, father of Emma Longstreet.

"She had me fix her hair and she said I like it down and just a little over my eyes," says Karen Longstreet.

Hours later, Emma was gone. Police say she died in a felony DUI accident involving 26 year old Billy Hutto, Jr., who police say was driving drunk behind the wheel and crashed into the Longstreet family's car.

Crandall Sims reporting, "The accident happened here behind me at the intersection of Old Cherokee Rd. and Sunset Boulevard that's right across the street from Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church. Emma's dad, David tells me those who were attending a Sunday morning service inside the church actually stopped the service to come out and pray with the family."

"As difficult as it was I knew God was taking care of us in that situation," David Longstreet.

Right now, prayers are something the Longstreets are clinging to.

"While we were in the hospital praying over little Emma, one of the things the mother said was, please please forgive the driver," says Scott Crede, Associate Pastor at Northside Baptist Church.

The Longstreet's pastor and Lifegroup coach, Scott Crede, recalls the moment David told his little girl goodbye for the last time.

"He said soon honey you will be a much better father than I will ever be," says Crede.

David and Karen say out of it all, they hope Emma's story will help save another child's life and prevent other parents from feeling this pain.

"Now the journey begins, step by step, hour by hour but it's definitely not a sprint, it's a marathon," says David Longstreet.

"We will get through this somehow and we will miss her always, God just wanted a perfect little angel and Emma was his best choice," says Karen Longstreet.

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