Riley County Police, family wait for answers after fatal crash

MANHATTAN (KSNT) — A memorial for 6-year-old Madie Rose Mall already covers the spot where emergency personnel pulled her from her father’s car Monday night.

Joshua Mall, 39, was driving his 2001 Ford Ranger in the 2400 block of Tuttle Creek Boulevard when it collided with a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze. Mall was transported to a Topeka hospital from Via Christi in Manhattan.

He is reportedly in stable condition.

A preliminary investigation by the Riley County Police Department uncovered the two cars were driving in the same direction.

Officer Matthew Droge said speed may have been a factor in the crash.

Now police are asking anyone to come forward “who may have interacted with the driver of the 2001 Ford Ranger, stopped at the accident scene prior to police arrival (and have not yet provided information to authorities), or witnesses that may have observed the vehicle and its driving prior to the collision.”

But as family members wait for answers, they’ll remember Madie in their own way.

And for her godfather Joel Garver that meant helping Madie’s older brother Kaden make 4 foot tall wooden cross for the memorial site.

The tree the car hit is scarred and covered in blue spray paint from the investigation, but that has not stopped people who want to remember Madie from bringing flowers, stuffed animals and candles to the site.

Small, colored, marker doodles cover part of the tree and a brown stuffed dog sits at the base.

“She was a special little girl,” Garver said. “It’s not fair. And, you know, somebody so innocent and so beautiful like her just shouldn’t have gone so soon.”

And, for Garver, the chance to make the cross for her memorial site was a healing moment.

“It lets me be with her a little while,” he said.

Garver set up a GoFundMe page for Madie’s siblings and for the cost of the funeral. Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday.

As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, 174 people raised more than $9,800 for the family.

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