10-year-old Evergreen Elem. student fights for life at Harborview




Posted on May 6, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 7 at 4:47 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--A ten-year-old Spokane girl was fighting for her life in a Seattle hospital on Tuesday after a horrible crash outside of Ritzville.

The crash happened on Saturday night. The same wreck killed 10-year-old Gracie Snider. Washington State Patrol said the car they were in crashed into the back of a semi-truck.

Ayla James’ family members said they knew the little girl would fight through her serious injuries.

READ: Memorial grows for Cooper Elem. student killed in crash

Family said James was known for her dramatic personality. Her aunt said she was always the center of attention.

"Ayla is just one of those kids you just have to love her when you meet her,” said James’ aunt, Lisa Carrington. “She's a wild, crazy, outgoing child that just draws at your heart.”
Carrington said James loved to play soccer.

"There are times you'd see the look on her face and she could simply just will them to win,” said Carrington.

Nothing could prepare James’ family for what they were going through on Tuesday.

"She has not woken up,” said Carrington.

James, her dad and her soccer teammate, Snider, were all on their way home from a soccer game Saturday in the car that crashed. Washington State Patrol said 38-year-old Nathan James was traveling Eastbound on I-90 when his car crashed into the back of a semi-truck outside of Ritzville. Snider died in the crash.

READ: Cooper Elem. School student killed in crash with semi

Ayla James was unconscious and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for serious back and head injuries.

"To see her in a hospital bed, essentially asleep hooked up to all of those wires and tubes and things that they do, is incredibly difficult,” said Carrington.

Family members said they did not know how the crash happened but said their focus was on James’ recovery.

The two girls played for the Spokane Foxes Soccer Club. James’ father was the coach.

"The Sniders came to visit Ayla,” Carrington said. “They brought her Gracie's blanket and her favorite stuffed animal to comfort her on her trip to Seattle.”

James’ family did not know the extent of her injuries but said they knew she would not stop fighting.

"If any child could do it she could. She has the most iron will I have ever seen,” said Carrington.

The Spokane Foxes Soccer Club scheduled a candle light vigil for Wednesday night in Manito Park for both Snider and James. They will collect donations there to help both families.

CONNECT: Donate for living and medical expenses for James family