Memorial honors toddler killed in Carolina Beach accident

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) —  An island is in mourning as word quickly spread over the weekend of the death of a one-year-old child, who was hit while in a crosswalk. Carolina Beach police have charged the driver of the Jeep who allegedly hit the child, Cora Kruger, and the child’s grandmother, Catherine Hagelstein.

The community has demonstrated an outpouring of love with a vigil for Cora.

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The longtime family friend, Janeen Williams, opened up her coffee shop, Majik Beanz, for anyone wanting to support the family.

Police charged 39-year-old Heather Ligotino with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and failure to yield to a pedestrian in the death of Cora Kruger. Investigators say Cora and her grandmother, Catherine Hagelstein, were in the intersection of Lake Park Boulevard and Cape Fear Boulevard Friday morning, when Ligotino hit them killing the toddler and injuring the grandmother.

Williams says Cora was a lovable one-year-old.

“That baby loved her grandma. She loved her Aunt Suzie, her Uncle Steven and her little cousins and really everyone who came in here and her mommy,” said Williams. “She had lots and lots of love for Mommy Jenny. The baby’s name is Cora Love by the way which I thought was beautiful… perfect for her. ”

Hagelstein is already out of the hospital. Williams says she plans to meet with local lawmakers to discuss ways to make crosswalks safer.

With summer around the corner, Carolina Beach will see a host of more pedestrians.

Police have not yet released the details of the crash. Ligotino appeared before a magistrate Monday and was released on a written promise to appear.

The Cora Kruger and Cathy Hagelstein GoFundMe  can be found here.

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