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11-year-old crash victim dies, remembered for having 'heart of gold'

Mackenzie Kulesza's family decided to take her off life support Thursday night.

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — From the moment she came into this world, Mackenzie Kulesza has been showing everyone her heart of gold.

"If she could help out in any way, little things like she hated doing the dishes, but did them to be nice. Not just because she's my daughter, she's one of a kind. She would help anyone," said Tony Kulesza, Mackenzie's father. 

That one-of-a-kind soul was taken too soon. Mackenzie was killed in a car crash Tuesday evening on Rapids Road. 

"She was basically gone on her way to (Oishei) Children's Hospital in a Mercy Flight helicopter," Tony said. "She couldn't breath on her own. From there on, she was officially on life support."

According to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, four other girls, with ages ranging from 9 to 14 years old, were also walking along the road. 

Two other girls were also injured in the crash. Deputies say one of them was treated and released from Oishei, while the other is still at the hospital in stable condition. 

The sheriff's office says the driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and was cooperating with authorities.

"I don't know details. As a parent who lost his most important thing, please let your kids know about safety," Tony said. 

Tony says his family took his daughter off life support on Thursday night and are donating her organs. She was only 11-years-old.

Throughout her entire time in the hospital, friends camped out in the parking lot to stand by his daughter's side. 

Several strangers are also now donating money to two different GoFundMe's that will cover the cost of Mackenzie's funeral.

One was just started by family friend Amber Barrett.

"I've known Mackenzie and Tony for five years. I wanted to be there in support for him and her," Barrett said. 

Tony added, "The effort these people are putting in for Mackenzie is just, I can't even explain how thankful I am. I knew she was a good kid, I knew it. but I can't thank everyone enough."

Tony is holding onto that support from his community to help get through a tragedy, but so is a message from Mackenzie that still holds true to this day.

"At the father-daughter dance last year, she looked at me and said, 'Dad, don't be nervous, it'll be OK,' " Tony said. 

If you would like to donate to either GoFundMe, click here and here