Several days after 5-year-old Bella Noble died, her family was surprised by the outpouring of support at a candlelight vigil. NBC 7's Megan Tevrizian spoke with the girl's father who had a powerful message for parents.
Dozens turned out Sunday to remember a San Diego-area girl who died after she was struck twice by her mother’s minivan.
Neighbors gathered at a candlelight vigil to remember 5-year-old Bella Noble of Ramona and offer her family love and support.
Bella jumped from the bumper of her mother’s minivan Thursday just as her mother put the vehicle into reverse.
CHP investigators said the child’s mother thought she had struck her daughter and put the car in drive, running over the girl a second time.
Bella was airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
At the vigil held Sunday outside a pumpkin patch in Ramona, Bella’s father Billie Noble reminded parents to cherish the time they have with their children.
"Stop what you're doing, slow down and be there for your kids, because you're all they have and that's all you have really, when it comes down to it," he said.
Billie Noble received hugs from friends and even strangers as he talked about the incident the family says was an accident. CHP officials have said alcohol or drugs were not involved but are still investigating the child’s death.
"You never know when it's your last day with them. Cherish every day you have,” he said. “Hug them, love them. Just do it."
Longtime friend Theresee Galliano says Bella was a singer and a dancer she liked to play jokes on her brother.
"When you look at her pictures you can see it in her eyes, the light in her eyes,” Galliano said. “And they want us to remember Bella as Bella, that effervescent personality doing all the things that Bella does."
Friends and family plan to hold a benefit to raise money for the family to cover medical and funeral expenses. Check this website for more information.