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Mother living ‘a nightmare’ after guilty plea in crash that killed 5-year-old

Posted at 11:54 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 08:26:22-05

SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. -- A Petersburg man was convicted for an April 2019 crash that killed a 5-year-old girl and seriously injured two people.

Toriando Smith, 30, plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and eluding police in Sussex County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Smith, who was 29 at the time, led a Virginia State Police trooper on a high speed from Dinwiddie County onto the back roads of Sussex.

Christina Parham was a passenger in a car that collided head-on with Smith's Chevrolet Cruz. The 5-year-old died at the scene, while her cousins survived the crash with serious injuries. 

"Losing a child is like you lost a part of your soul and you have to really try with all your might to just go on," Parham's mother Chaundreka Williams said. "It’s a nightmare."

Williams said she walked out of the courtroom as prosecutors played the trooper's dash cam footage of the crash.

"Either way it’s heartbreaking," she explained. "It’s no way to say how you feel about losing a child. It’s no way to put words in that type of emotions I have behind this. I’ll never be okay with it."

Nine months later, Williams recalled missing holidays and her only daughter's sixth birthday. Christina aspired to be a doctor to help others.

"She was in kindergarten at the time," Williams stated. "She didn’t deserve this. She was just on Spring Break wanting to enjoy herself."

The judge nolle prossed, or dismissed, a driving on a revoked license charge as part of Smith's plea.

Smith's sentencing is scheduled for April 21. He is being held at Riverside Regional Jail.