Autumn lights: Community holds vigil for Autumn Mack

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Just as the voting polls were closing and some people where headed home from work, a somber group of approximately 70 men, women and children held a candlelight vigil for 5-year-old Autumn Mack Nov. 5 in DeKalb County.

Autumn was struck by a vehicle and killed while trick-or-treating on Pepperdine Drive in the Chapel Hill community. According to reports, Autumn was with a group of children and parents when she stepped in front of a moving minivan around 7 p.m. on Oct. 31. She died from her injuries after being transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver.

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With a DeKalb County Police escort, attendees walked, mostly in silence, from Chapel Hill Elementary, where Autumn attended, some carrying teddy bears or balloons. The silence of the cool fall evening was momentarily broken as some began to sing When the Saints Go Marching In.

Vigil organizers had a memorial in place where Autumn was struck. Candles were passed out and lit in honor of Autumn.

Rev. Arthur Grier of Martin Street Church of God in Atlanta led the group in prayer. Autumn’s teacher and principal gave remarks as the crowd gathered in silence.

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“We as neighbors in the community have to come together to show that we love them. And whatever we need to do to help [both families] get through this—we’re going to do it,” said community leader Linda Cotton-Taylor. “This is a testimony to how much this Pepperdine Drive family loves one another.”

A memorial fund to help pay the costs of a funeral has been established for Autumn Saniya Mack at any Wells Fargo bank branch.

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