Community mourns mother, child killed in crash

To friends, Tisa Michelle Strickland was “precious” and “a wonderful mother” to her 13-month-old daughter, Payton Michelle Dellinger.

“She was just a wonderful, happy-go-lucky kind of person,” said Chastity McRee, owner of Brookwood Family Restaurant in Maiden. “She had an air about her that she was just full of life, and she loved her little girl.”

Strickland had just recently celebrated the first birthday of her daughter, who was born April 3, 2011.

“Her little girl was beautiful,” McRee said, adding Strickland was quiet. “It 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 shouldn’t be doing. She was just so sweet, you couldn’t be mad at her.”

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 road’s intersection with N.C. 16 Business.

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