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'Nolan's Nook' remembers toddler lost in Jefferson City crash

Nolan and his pregnant mom, Sierra Cahoon, died when authorities said a man 'deliberately crashed' into them in June.

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — According to Beth Ann Smith, Nolan Cahoon was a kid filled with wonder.

"Just a little boy who was curious and loved the world around him," she said. 

She is the director of Children's Day Out, a program for children at First Baptist Church in Jefferson City, a place she said Nolan loved dearly.

"It was his routine to walk through the door, run to the aquarium and see the fish," she said. 

When Nolan passed away in early June, this memory of his life would stick with Beth. Nolan and his pregnant mom, Sierra Cahoon, died when authorities said a man 'deliberately crashed' into them.

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"The day he died, the idea was formed in my mind that we needed to memorialize this place that he loved so much," she said.

That thought led to Nolan's Nook.

"The alliteration of Nolan's Nook just took hold in my mind," Smith said.

As soon as you walk through the front door, you see the one thing the 2-year-old loved so much.

"Recognizing a very special little boy with such a passion for these fish," Smith said. 

The nook comes complete with a fish tank, books, benches and little chairs. Smith said Nolan's father donated to the program.

"It was the best possible way to memorialize Nolan's time here in a place that he loved so much," she said. 

Right above the tank sits his picture and a scripture Smith said she had to use.

"It seemed fitting to not only share this place Nolan loved, but also to remind people why it's here to begin with," she said. 

Though losing Nolan brought pain, Smith believes this memory of him can bring a little joy to his classmates, and together they can remember a boy who loved life, his family and his fish.

"Now to know that he is a part of what we do here is a gift beyond anything I can imagine," Smith said.

The driver who killed Nolan and Sierra Cahoon is due in court on Tuesday.

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