LaTasha Upshaw sat and wept, covering her face as family members held onto her shoulder Tuesday in a memorial for her baby girl Cherish, killed Monday after she ran into the street and was struck by a CTA bus.
The 19-month-old girl was hit in the 7700 block of South Shore Drive and was instantly killed by the bus, whose driver had attempted to swerve out of the way. She had left her daughter in the care of a neighbor briefly when the accident occurred.
Dozens of family members and friends gathered in front of a South Shore apartment building, consoling each other and adding to a memorial wall featuring teddy bears, photos and poster boards with personalized messages.
Many read “R.I.P. baby girl.”
The crowd huddled and prayed for Cherish and her family. A photo collage featured images of Cherish grinning ear to ear.
Latasha Upshaw didn’t speak during or to reporters after the gathering.
But the grieving mother’s aunt, Ulandona Upshaw, said she came out to support the family during a tough time. She said her mother passed away last week, as did a cousin.
“We are all grieving really bad,” Ulandona Upshaw said. “I just want to thank everybody for supporting us.”
Ulandona Upshaw said her niece is a “good mom.” Her other children are 7 months, 4, 14 and 19.
“My niece is not a bad parent. The lady who was watching her is not a bad parent. It’s some kind of freak accident. Maybe that was part of [God’s] work to calling her home. It was her time. But other than that, we are all suffering. It was just a freak accident.”
Teresa Moore, LaTasha Upshaw’s godmother said the accident could have happened to anyone.
“You turn your head in the blink of an eye and anything can happen to a child. It happens in the house or outside the house,” Moore said. “This could have been any child. It could have been you.”