"I love you more, Dad," Yvette responded.
Those were her last words.
Moments later, Riley lost control of his roadster, then slammed into a
median and flipped over. Pinned beneath the car's weighty frame, he
screamed for his daughter.
There was no response.
Aided by Newport Beach paramedics, Riley was taken to a hospital, only to
be informed later that Yvette had died in the accident.
"This is the most devastating experience of my life," he said from his
Corona del Mar home. He escaped major injury and the physical aches are
healing with the help of a support brace around his waist. However, he
and his wife, Yvonne, believe a higher power spared his life and took his
"It's such a shock for a father to lose one of his children. I wondered
why I survived and not her. We figure God has his reasons."
The family has huddled inside their Corona del Mar home, preparing for
their daughter's funeral. They have been supported by a large group of
friends and family, who have showered them with cards and flowers.
The condolences have been helpful, but their religious beliefs, serving
as a sturdy emotional pillar, have guided them through the grief.
"Not everybody has faith this strong," said family friend Cathe Laurie.
"This is an amazing example of someone's faith in God."
Yvonne Riley is a testament to that. Sifting through pictures of Yvette,
she believes her daughter is in a better place.
"She's in the best place you can be," she replied. "I don't have to worry
about her. This is a tragedy mixed with our sincere belief that she is in
heaven. That gives me peace."
Their daughter was enrolled at Maranatha Christian Academy at Calvary
Chapel in Costa Mesa. She had recently showed interest in guitar after
listening to a gospel singer, although at 10 years old, she was enamored
by teen pop stars Brittany Spears and the Backstreet Boys.
She'll always have a lasting legacy in the family. When her younger
sister, 9-year-old Rachelle, was born, Yvette had problems pronouncing
her name. So Yvette called her "Belle," and the name has stuck.
Yvette had an artistic side -- probably from her father, who is a graphic