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Rick Abbott - Reporting - Caylin

Caylin Donovan, 10, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash near Lake Mille Lacs on Friday, June 10, 2016. Submitted photo.

Caylin Donovan, 10, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash near Lake Mille Lacs on Friday, June 10, 2016. Submitted photo.


'I see it when I close my eyes,' says mom of 10-year-old killed in hit-and-run

By Rick Abbott

Published June 12, 2016 - The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

LAKE MILLES LACS, Minn.—Learning her 10-year-old daughter was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver left Ginnie Donovan with a "huge, gaping hole" in her chest.

Donovan's daughter, Caylin Donovan, of Lake Park, had just finished school for the year and was helping out at an extended family member's lake place here.

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It was just before 8 p.m. Friday, June 10. Caylin was at the edge of the home's driveway, trying to get reception on a cell phone, when she was hit by the passing vehicle, Donovan said.

"I can't eat, I can't sleep," Donovan said through tears Sunday, June 12. "They told me what she looked like, and I see it when I close my eyes."

The Minnesota State Patrol was still looking for the vehicle responsible for Caylin's death on Sunday night. Troopers earlier asked the public's help in finding the driver of a white Ford pickup pulling a fifth-wheel camper with black trim, who they say may have witnessed the crash.

Support from family and the community has poured in since the 10-year-old's death, Donovan said.

"We've had a lot of visitors, people bringing food," she said. "It's been a constant reminder."

An online fundraising page set up to help with funeral expenses had already reached $3,000 late Sunday, with a goal of $4,000.

Caylin, who would've turned 11 in August, was remembered by her mother in a public Facebook post as a "pretty little thing that loves to read and pick rocks," Donovan's post read.

Caylin loved her sister, a 14-year-old, and macaroni and cheese, Donovan wrote. Caylin was the "embodiment of life, happiness, and most of all love."

Speaking Sunday, less than two days after her "little bird was ripped" from her life, Donovan said the love and support she and her family have received so far has helped in calming a small part of her aching loss.

"I'm not sure I've been successfully able to wrap my brain around the fact that it's happening," Donovan said. "I knew I had friends, but I didn't know that people really cared that much."

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to called the patrol at (218) 316-3025.

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