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Family remembers 4 year-old girl killed in Arab flooding

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 10:14 PM CDT
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ARAB, Ala. (WAFF) - A family is mourning an incredible loss.

“Everybody plays the what-if game, what if she would have gone the other way, it’s just a tragedy,” said Ross Madak, uncle of Jaylee Ann Cheek.

A family is mourning an incredible loss.

4-year-old Jaylee Ann Cheek drowned while still in her car seat on Thursday night.

She was in a car that was swept away in torrential downpours.

“Everybody plays the what-if game, what if she would have gone the other way, it’s just a tragedy,” said Ross Madak, uncle of Jaylee Ann Cheek.

Madak recalled the moment his nephew Brayden Langston, niece Jaylee Ann Cheek, and their babysitter were swept off Haynes Road during flooding on Thursday.

He said the babysitter was driving the children home.

That’s when the van was swept off Haynes Road into a creek that was 12 feet deep.

Witnesses tried to help rescue the passengers, but it was too late.

“The van had some kind of safety feature that when it detected the water, it rolled all of the windows down, and the water pushed my nephew and the babysitter out, and my niece was still strapped in her seat,” said Madak.

Madak said now all they have left are precious memories of 4-year-old Jaylee.

“She loved to dress up makeup, and she shared love, and she never met a stranger, and she loved you because of you, and right now we all need that kind of love today, " said Madak.

Madak said he and his family are thankful for the outpour of support from the community during this time. He also said he is hopeful the city can make some changes to the roads to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

Jaylee’s funeral will be held on Monday, October 11 from, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Arab Heritage Funeral Home.

He said the babysitter was driving the children home.

That’s when the van was swept off Haynes Road into a creek that was 12 feet deep.

Witnesses tried to help rescue the passengers, but it was too late.

“The van had some kind of safety feature that when it detected the water, it rolled all of the windows down, and the water pushed my nephew and the babysitter out, and my niece was still strapped in her seat,” said Madak.

Madak said now all they have left are precious memories of 4-year-old Jaylee.

“She loved to dress up makeup, and she shared love, and she never met a stranger, and she loved you because of you, and right now we all need that kind of love today, " said Madak.

Madak said he and his family are thankful for the outpour of support from the community during this time. He also said he is hopeful the city can make some changes to the roads to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

Jaylee’s funeral will be held on Monday, October 11 from, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Arab Heritage Funeral Home.

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