HOUMA, La. - A Houma man is in the Terrebonne Parish jail, charged with the death of two-year-old Taylor Strickland.
State police arrested Tony Milligan, 20, around 2 a.m. Friday. Police say Milligan was involved in a hit and run accident south of the Schriever overpass on LA-24. They say he sped away from the scene and lost control of his pickup.
"When the truck left the roadway, it traveled through a ditch, through the yard and actually struck the bedroom of that young child and actually pinned her up against the wall and the vehicle," said Louisiana State Trooper Evan Harrell.
Emotions are overflowing along the banks of Bayou Terrebonne as family members of a little girl, try to make sense of a senseless crime.
"That was my angel," said Taylor's grandfather Randy Clause. "That was my baby. My only granddaughter." "Happy, go lucky, always a smile on her face," said another relative Arthur Andre. "We just don't understand. It's so sad."
Taylor's parents Brittney and Lance Strickland were also injured in the crash. They are in stable condition. Family members say Milligan appeared to be intoxicated and he was still wearing a wristband from the bar where he was reportedly drinking.
"We do believe that alcohol is a contributing factor in the crash," said Trooper Harrell. "We are going to find out where he was drinking, which establishments he was in because he is under the age of 21. "
"It's just hard on us right now," said Clause. "I just hope the guy gets what's coming to him and he's punished severely."
Family members would now like to use little Taylor's death to convince lawmakers to strengthen laws concerning drinking and driving. "It's just a tragedy when people drink and they come out and kill people," said Clause.
"The devastation that it did this family," said Andre. "Only the Lord knows why this stuff happens."
Milligan remains in the Terrebonne Parish jail, charged with Vehicular Homicide and Careless Operation. A memorial fund is set up in Taylor Strickland's name. You can contribute at any Capital One bank branch in the Houma-Thibodaux area.