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Chesterfield mom shares wish on late daughter’s birthday

Posted at 10:40 PM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-02 05:43:05-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va.  -- Christina Parham spent months talking about her sixth birthday party. She and her mom were planning quite a celebration for July 1. But there would be no party.

Parham was a passenger in a car that collided head-on with a Chevrolet Curz on the back roads of Sussex County last April, according to Virginia State Police.

"My daughter was the only one that didn’t survive that accident," Parham's mother Chaundreka Williams said. "It was horrible and we are devastated."

The fiery crash was a consequence of a high-speed police chase led by 29-year-old Toriando Smith, who drove off after a traffic stop in Dinwiddie County, police said. Detectives said Smith was traveling in excess of 100 miles an hour at the time of impact.

Monday, Williams' Chesterfield living room was filled with birthday cards and pink princess balloons for Christina.

"This tragedy has really tore my family apart," she explained. "I don’t want anyone to ever go through what we are going through. That was my only daughter. How would you feel?"

Williams hoped to use her grief for good - to urge lawmakers to pass "Christina's Law."

"We want an alert to go out through the radios and cell phones to let any pedestrians and drivers know a high speed chase is in the area. Maybe it can save some lives," Williams stated.

The mother encouraged all parents not to take their children for granted.

"Never put off what you can do today with your child," she said. "You never know what could never know."

Fiery fatal crash in Sussex County

Corinne Geller with Virginia State Police said the incident started at 8:09 a.m. when a trooper spotted 29-year-old Toriando B. Smith, of Petersburg, in a Chevrolet Cruze speeding on Route 618 in Dinwiddie County.

"The trooper initiated his emergency lights and siren and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The Chevrolet Cruze pulled over and stopped on the side of the road. But as the trooper approached it on foot, the Cruze pulled away and sped off," Geller said.

The trooper gave chase and the pursuit continued along Route 40 into Sussex County.

"The trooper lost sight of the Cruze, which was traveling in excess of 100 mph. As the trooper searched the area for the suspect vehicle, at approximately 8:15 a.m. he came upon a traffic crash on Route 681/Concord Sappony Road," Geller said.

That is where officials said the suspect hit a Chevrolet Impala, driven by Latonya Chandler, head-on.

The trooper pulled Smith, who was the only person inside the car, from his burning vehicle, officials said.

Smith suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, eluding police and driving on a revoked license.

Smith is currently in the Riverside Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing in Sussex County General District Court scheduled for July 18.