Fundraisers launched for infant girl left without mother after St. John's car crash

Alyssa Power's death in a car crash is especially tragic given her own childhood growing up without a mother, a friend says.

Alyssa Power, 19, the mother of a one-month-old girl, died Friday in 2-vehicle crash

Alyssa Power, 19, and her infant daughter, seen here just weeks before Power died in an accident at the intersection of Canada Drive and Hamlyn Road in St. John's. (GoFundMe)

Longtime friends of Alyssa Power, a young mother who was killed in a car crash Friday night in St. John's, are selling T-shirts to raise money for the one-month-old baby she left behind.

"She looks just like her," Kaylee Foley, 17, said of Power's infant daughter, adding that motherhood was "something Alyssa always, always wanted."

Kaylee Foley, left, and Madison Denine, right, are selling t-shirts to raise money for Alyssa Power's infant daughter. (Meghan McCabe/CBC)

Power, 19, died when the Honda Accord she was in collided with an SUV at the intersection of Canada Drive and Hamlyn Road. 

The driver of the Honda remained in serious condition Monday while two male youths were treated with non-life threatening injuries, according to police. One of those youths — a male, who was sitting in the back seat with Power — remains in hospital.

The chief of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said an officer tried to pull the Accord over seconds before the accident.

He said the 17-year-old driver didn't stop and then collided with the SUV. Power was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated by the RNC, and the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team has been called in for an independent investigation.

Power lost her mother at a young age

Foley said she got the idea to make and sell the shirts from her mother, right after they got the news about Power. The shirt she came up with has a picture of Power and her daughter on the front.

On the back are lyrics from 2Pac's song Changes, which Foley said was Power's favourite song, written in blue, her favourite colour.

The back of the shirt has lyrics from the song "Changes" by late rapper Tupac Shakur. (Meghan McCabe/CBC)

There's also a picture of Power's mother.

Power lost her mother at a very young age — just like her own daughter.

The front of the shirt Foley and Denine are selling has a picture of Power and her daughter, and of Power's mother. (Meghan McCabe/CBC)

Foley said she's been coping with the loss of her friend, who she knew for over 10 years, by staying focused on selling the shirts with the help of Madison Denine, 16, another longtime friend of Power.

"We're still all kind of in shock," Foley said.

So far, the girls have 100 shirts and are selling them for $12 each. 

'She was talking about her baby'

Foley and Denine remember Power as outgoing, kind and a lot of fun.

"Everyone hung out with her at one point, she was really nice," said Denine. "She was a really sweet girl."

"Last time I was talking to her, she was talking about her baby."

Madison Denine, right, comforts Kaylee Foley, left, as they break down while speaking about their friend, Alyssa Power. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Foley said she always knew motherhood was something that would make Power's life "complete and full." 

Though Power's daughter is now without a mother, Foley said she feels like the little girl is in good hands.

"She has a lot of family, and they'll care for her," Foley said.

Cycle of tragedy

Ashley Hollahan is another friend of Power's. She was devastated by the news.

It just breaks my heart knowing that [her daughter] has to go through the same thing.- Ashley  Hollahan

"It just breaks my heart knowing that [her daughter] has to go through the same thing that Alyssa had," Hollahan said.

As far as Hollahan knows, the baby is currently staying with Power's aunt, who raised Power when her mom died.

Emergency responders at a two-vehicle crash scene on Canada Drive and Hamlyn Road around 10:15 p.m. Friday. Alyssa Power was pronounced dead at the scene while three others were injured. (Arthur Craig Green)

Hollahan doesn't remember the details around how Power's mom died, but said it was always difficult for her, and that it was hard for friends who still had their mothers to relate and give her comfort.

"It just took a really hard toll on Alyssa and as she got older, seeing all of us with our moms, she would sit down and cry sometimes," she said.

The RNC says an officer tried to pull over the Honda just before Friday's accident, but the driver didn't stop. (Marilyn Boone/CBC)

Hollahan described Power as a down to earth person who, despite her own personal issues, would drop everything to help her friends in time of need.

She said it seemed like since the birth of her daughter in March, Power appeared to have a new lease on life — which makes it extremely difficult for her friends and family to accept her sudden passing.

"Everyone was so proud of her, she was finally getting her life on track, showing everybody she could do it and being the best mom she could be," Hollahan said. "And of course, a tragedy has to happen."

Fundraising campaign

A GoFundMe campaign, started by Hollahan, is helping the family out with funeral expenses and other costs.

The goal for the drive is $1,000, and as of Monday morning had surpassed $500.

"[It's to] make sure they're not stressing. [We] don't want family worrying about how to pay for things," she said.

"I guess whoever has the child now will receive the baby's money and stuff like that. But it's not easy. I have a four year old and I know it's not easy."
 

With files from Janelle Kelly and St. John's Morning Show