Candlelight vigil honors 3-year-old killed by school bus

CREATED Sep 12, 2011 - UPDATED: Sep 12, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - When you look Adrienne Correa in the eyes, you can see there’s emptiness there; the kind of loss you can’t put into words.

“I just don’t understand why it had to happen to us or why her.”

Adrienne is facing the reality that she'll never see the sweet, innocent face of her three-year-old daughter Yanelisse again.

“She was just full of life,” said her Adrienne, of her daughter.

Yanelisse was killed Friday afternoon when a school bus hit her outside her grandmother's home on Milwaukee’s south side.

Alderman Bob Donovan lives across the street. He heard screams from the street while inside his home. He looked out the window and saw the horrific scene. He called 911 and attempted CPR when directed by the dispatcher. It was too late.

“I'll never forget that child's face. For as long as I live, I'll never forget her face - that little angel,” said Donovan.

Yanelisse’s grandmother was watching her for the day. They had just returned home from grocery shopping. Yanelisse fell asleep and her grandmother carried her into their home and laid her on the couch. The little girl woke up and tried to run across the street to her grandmother’s car.

When Adrienne and her boyfriend Ever – Yanelisse’s father -- got the phone call about the accident, they knew it wasn’t good.

“I guess you get that parent feeling; that I knew she wasn't here no more,” said Ever Bullon.

As soon as Adrienne heard a bus was involved, she too had that sinking feeling.

“You feel it in your heart. She told me goodbye, and I felt it.”

Yanelisse’s death leaves her young mother and father searching for answers.

“I guess God, tell me why she (the bus driver) took her?” cried Ever.

They wonder why they lost the vivacious little girl who colored with mom's eyeliner but was far from "girly".

“She loved collecting rocks. She was into dinosaurs and bugs,” her mother said with a faint smile, followed by tears.

Sunday night roughly 75 friends, family and complete strangers gathered with candle light in the street to remember a little girl's big smile that faded too soon.

For her family, it was a chance to show just how dearly she was loved. And, an opportunity for them to remind others to cherish each moment with loved ones, to appreciate your kids.

“Never take them for granted," said Adriennne as Ever finished her sentence: "You never know when they're going to be gone.

Her funeral has been scheduled for Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Church and Chapel on the 1900 block of West Becher Street.

The family is asking people attending the funeral not to wear black, but to dress instead in green or purple - their daughter's favorite colors.