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Mother planning daughter's funeral on birthday

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BATON ROUGE - A mother started planning her daughter's funeral on the 21-year-old's birthday Monday. 

Taylor McGonigle, 21, died Sunday after being hit in the head by a column from a building in the French Quarter.  Police said a drunk driver lost control and hit the column, causing it to hit McGonigle.  

Authorities said the man, a reported convicted felon who was out on good behavior, was drunk when he crashed his vehicle. 

"This was absolutely an avoidable accident," Taylor's mother, Tina McGonigle said in an exclusive interview with WBRZ News 2 Monday. "It crushed the whole right side of her head...beyond recognition. The only reason I did not have to go and identify her body was because they had her driver's license."

Taylor McGonigle was in New Orleans for the weekend, ahead of her birthday on Monday. Her friends were celebrating the occaision when the freak accident happened Sunday morning.

"That has got to be the worst thing a parent could ever do," Tina said, "make funeral plans on their child's birthday."

New Orleans police arrested Tevest Vance, 37, for Taylor's death.  Vance is charged with vehicular manslaughter and violating his probation.

Tina McGonigle is frustrated Vance was on the street at the time of the crash.

"I need truth. I need closure.  Why was this man out on the street? Why was he able to take my innocent child's life? The only child I have. I have no children now. She was my only daughter," Tina said.


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