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To friends, Tisa Michelle Strickland was â€śpreciousâ€ť and â€śa wonderful motherâ€ť to her 13-month-old daughter, Payton Michelle Dellinger.
â€śShe was just a wonderful, happy-go-lucky kind of person,â€ť said Chastity McRee, owner of Brookwood Family Restaurant in Maiden. â€śShe had an air about her that she was just full of life, and she loved her little girl.â€ť
Strickland had just recently celebrated the first birthday of her daughter, who was born April 3, 2011.
â€śHer little girl was beautiful,â€ť McRee said, adding Strickland was quiet. â€śIt was sort of an awkward kind of quiet. She was just meek and mild. You could never say anything ugly to her, even if she was doing something she shouldnâ€™t be doing. She was just so sweet, you couldnâ€™t be mad at her.â€ť
Strickland, 26, and her daughter were killed Wednesday morning when the 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix she was driving collided head-on with a tractor-trailer truck. The accident happened on N.C. 150 about a half-mile east of the roadâ€™s intersection with N.C. 16 Business.
For the rest of this story, see the Thursday print edition of The Observer News Enterprise on newsstands throughout the county. To subscribe to The O-N-E, call 828-464-0221.