CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - It's a devastating reality that has yet to sink in for the parents of 7-year-old Lyla Chaudhary, who was killed in a car accident on Friday.
"Lyla was perfect," said her father, Ali Chaudhary. Ali lost his daughter on his birthday.
Lyla was killed in a single car crash in Matthews late Friday night. Her grandfather who remains in the hospital in stable condition was driving the car that slipped off of the road and hit a tree.
The accident happened on Sam Newell Rd. in front of Crown Point Elementary School. Weather or speed may have been a factor, but there are no charges and the case is still under investigation.
"I'm just waiting for her to run around the corner or call my name and ask for a snack. Just anything, I don't even think she's still gone. I just want to hold her and I feel like she's still here but she isn't. And I know everyone keeps saying she's in my heart but I want her in my arms," Ali said.
Lyla's one-year-old brother left the crash unharmed, but her cousin and best friend, Riley, also seven, is in critical condition.
"They did everything together. They weren't cousins they were sisters," said Ali.
The two girls, born just two months apart, were inseparable according to the family. "It's Ry-La. Ryla. Riley and Lyla," said Amanda Chaudhary, Lyla's mom.
Riley's mother believes Lyla is in heaven watching over her best friend. "Riley was like her protector and now it's time for Lyla to be Riley's protector," she said.
It's difficult for a news story to express just how important a child is to a parent.
"I just want it to be known that she was perfect and she was my baby and I would give anything to have her back and she's done so much in so little time for everyone that's met her," Ali said.
The family says that while seven years old was far too young to go, Lyla lived everyday like it was her last.
"I am just so proud of her. Her life here was perfect, she is so happy. Happy. Everywhere, happy," said Amanda.
While most children look to their parents as heroes, Ali says that Lyla was his superhero.
"If there's anyone you haven't told you love that you do please tell them and hold your children and don't let them go because you never know the last time you're going to get to hold them," Ali said.