Parents of Child Killed in Accident Speak Out

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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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Kim H. said on Wednesday, Jan 4 at 1:32 AM

I work with David and I know the love he has for all his kids, little Emma will be missed dearly all of us at Bose are praying for David and his entire family.

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B said on Wednesday, Jan 4 at 11:45 AM

This family was such a wonderful, loving, and inspirational family to be around. There was so much love for each other and for Christ in the household. Sweet little Emma will never be forgotten and my prayers are with the Longstreets as they try to regain a sense of new normal with her in heaven.

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Sandy S. said on Wednesday, Jan 4 at 12:15 PM

Trying to be forgiving of the driver but apparently his first DUI didn't teach him a lesson. My heart breaks for this family and the life lost for this beautiful little girl. This didn't have to happen!! Do not drink and drive!!!

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Benny B said on Wednesday, Jan 4 at 1:00 PM

It's hard to imagine what the Longstreet family is going through with loosing their daughter because someone made the decision to drive a car while drunk.My prayers go out to all involved. I understand that Mr. Hutto had a previous DUI, But never seen anything as to whether he was convicted or served any time for the offense. Mr. Hutto has taken the life of this little girl and the joy that she had given her family, Some people make terrible decisions during their life time, Drinking and driving is one of the worse one's you can make, Please don't drink and drive,the life you save maybe your own if not someone else's.

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Anonymous said on Wednesday, Jan 4 at 3:43 PM

I WISH THE DRUNKS WERE THE ONES TO DIE...NOT THE INNOCENT!!!!

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LLJR said on Thursday, Jan 5 at 1:49 PM

Take the license and the car on first offense. They don't care about losing the license but the penalty has teeth when they lose the car. Can't get to work? Should have thought about that when you got behind the wheel.

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ANDRES POSADA said on Saturday, Jan 7 at 1:39 AM

FROM COLOMBIA.. I KNOW EMMA'S GRANDPA, JOE, AND HE IS SUCH A GREAT PERSON THAT I DO NOT DOUBT ALL I HAVE READ ABOUT EMMA... MY PRAYERS ARE WITH ALL LONGSTREET FAMILY.

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