Outpouring of Support for Young Crash Victim

A young girl seriously hurt in a multi-car crash early Tuesday morning that closed I-95 southbound for more than five hours has died.

Crash victim Makayla Panella, 10, underwent a series of tests Wednesday "which showed little to no brain activity," according to a family Facebook page. Her family said she died on Thursday.

The Prayers for Makayla Facebook page was started to keep family and friends updated.

"As you can imagine this tragedy has been one of the hardest, if not the hardest, thing we have had to tackle. Outside of our family, the tremendous support we have received from the community and total strangers is completely overwhelming," said cousin MaryAnne DeSantis.

"As you can probably gather from the updates, Makayla is not doing very well, but the doctors and nurses at CHOP have been working around the clock to go above and beyond doing whatever they can for her. She is in desperate need of all the prayers and support, actually, nothing short of a miracle."

The family has asked relatives and friends to wear purple, Makayla's favorite color, in her honor on Friday. 

Nicole Panella and her children were travelling in the Altima that hit an SUV at a high rate of speed after the SUV slowed down due to another crash on I-95. The accident happened Tuesday in Upper Chichestser, Delaware County around 10:10 p.m.

Makayla's mother and brother sustained minor to moderate injuries that required treatment at the scene before being taken to Crozer Chester Medical Center for observation, according to police.

Makayla's injuries were more severe. She was knocked unconscious. She was taken to Crozer transported to Children's Hospital in Philadelphia where she is in critical condition.

(Pictured: Nicole Panella and her two children)

Accident to the police report, Makayla was sitting in the front passenger seat and was not wearing her seat belt. Her brother was in the backseat without a proper booster seat.

Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.
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