ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — An Altamonte Springs mother is marking the birthday of her toddler daughter who was killed by an out-of-control driver during a family bike ride while her husband recovers from a traumatic brain injury in the hospital.
Adalyn Zisa would have turned 2 years old on New Year’s Day. But on Wednesday, instead of the toddler blowing out candles on her birthday cake, her family gathered in the grassy median of State Road 414 near her memorial marker to light luminary candles and sparklers in her memory.
“I want the world to remember that she was here,” her mother, Shannon Zisa, said.
Shannon and her husband Dane were both injured in the crash that killed their 17-month-old. They were on their nightly family bike ride when police say 48-year-old Shona Wallace drove her car up over the curb and struck the trio.
Police said Wallace had cocaine, fentanyl and a list of other drugs in her system at the time of the crash, according to test results. She is facing several charges, including DUI manslaughter.
Wallace is expected to have a court appearance later this month.
More than six months after the crash, Shannon said Dane remains hospitalized, slowly recovering from the injuries he suffered in the crash. During an interview Wednesday, she said Dane is medically stable but requires round-the-clock care.
She said he is now able to speak and eat, and remembers that the pair are married. But, she said, his memory ends three years ago, so as of now he doesn’t remember their daughter.
Shannon said she is unable to walk unassisted or drive a car. She can’t work, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The images I have to live with are haunting,” she said.
And on top of everything, she’s also continuing to grieve the loss of her little girl.
“She is missed every second of every day,” Shannon said.
Dane’s care and recovery will be lengthy and costly. So far, the family’s GoFundMe page has raised $141,000. Every penny of that is appreciated, Shannon said, but much more is needed to help them keep their house while also paying for the best possible care.
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