BIG PRAIRIE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The family of a 3-year-old girl who was killed in a crash gathered Wednesday to thank the people who tried to save her life.
On Saturday, Alaya Melchor died in a crash when police say a person driving a pickup truck ran a stop sign at the corner of Elm Avenue and Baseline Road in Newaygo County.
Family says her sister, Airial was recently released from the hospital and her brother Abel is still recovering at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.
Wednesday evening, Alaya's family went to thank first responders and an anonymous man who insists he isn't a hero.
The stranger stopped and performed CPR on Alaya. He said he truly doesn't want any credit, and wants to remain anonymous.
He says he did the right thing and is at peace with knowing Alaya is in a better place.
But Alaya's aunt Tasha Wilson says their family needed to thank those who tried to help.
“In my eyes, yes, he is a hero to me. Even though he hates that word. To me and my family, we can’t thank him enough,” Wilson said.
She also said her sister would be with her to say thank you, but she’s isn’t leaving her children’s side while they recover.
But the thanks didn't stop with just the man who tried to help Alaya.
Deputy Chief with Big Prairie Township Fire Department, Jesse Alanzo, was the first responder on the scene.
“This was my first kid. The adults, it doesn’t affect (nearly) as bad as when it’s a kid, especially when you have your own,” Alanzo said.
Alanzo says this is the first time someone from a family he’s helped stopped by to say thank you. Often, he's left wondering what happened to those who are involved in crashes he's responded to.
“I wish people would do it more,” Alanzo said.
Tasha said they don't want anyone to wonder whether or not their family appreciates all those who did everything they could despite this incredible loss.