Family & friends say goodbye to Gallatin teen killed during storm

“I wasn’t close enough to stop it,” Aleya’s brother said during Thursday’s service.
Friends and families attended a celebration of life for Aleya Brooks who was killed over the weekend when a tree fell on her after Friday's storms.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 9:24 PM CST
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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Friends and family of Aleya Brooks said their final goodbyes to her in her celebration of life.

She is the Sumner County teen that died last weekend when a tree fell on her while she was cleaning up storm damage. She was only 15 years old and on the Liberty Creek High School cheerleading team.

Her pastor, her cheer coach, her parents and her brother all spoke. Her brother was next to her when the tree fell.

“Within a moment of my back being turned to Aleya, and without a sound, as I don’t recall hearing anything break, I turned back around and saw the tree already on its way down,” Nathaniel Brooks, Aleya’s brother, said during the service. “The tree has fallen in the perfect path that she was walking. If she had been a foot to the left or right, the tree would have missed her.

“I wasn’t close enough to stop it. It was almost as if I was put in the perfect place where I could not reach her in time to save her.”

Brooks donated her organs. Two went to one person. Her parents said her heart is still intact.

“The selfish part of my momma heart didn’t mind that because I don’t know if I can handle someone else having my daughter’s heart,” Darla Brooks said in an interview with WSMV4 on Wednesday.

Her family set up a GoFundMe account for the Aleya Brooks Memorial Fund. The money raised will be donated to her church, Long Hollow Church, and an organization focused on care and research for neurological and brain disorders. Her parents said her dream was to be a neuropsychologist.