PALMETTO, Fla. -- Gathered in prayer, family and friends find strength and console each other. They stand less than a hundred feet from the intersection where Myquarios Kelly, 15, was struck and killed by a car as he walked to Palmetto High School before sunrise.
“I lost my son my heart. That little boy he was the greatest,” says Michael Kelly, Myquarios’ father.
“He liked to play basketball every evening. ... His friend would get him they play basketball,” says Delores Wright, Myquarios’ grandmother.
Kyera Lang, the teen’s cousin, says she’ll miss his smile. Kyera says, “He’s a loving kid never in trouble.”
Florida Highway Patrol troopers say Myquarios was heading west on 23rd Street East to Palmetto High. When the 10th-grader crossed the road a Lexus heading south on U.S. 41 had the green light.
“There are 5 lanes he gets across 4 lanes -- he’s struck on the right, southbound lane,” says Capt. John Donovan of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Family members say the teen should have been riding a school bus.
“That road had always been dangerous,” says Lelia Marshall, Myquarios’ great-aunt. She adds, “A child has no business crossing that road. A child coming across that road that’s crazy.”
The speed limit is 50 miles per hour on this stretch of U.S. 41.
Donovan says, “(U.S.) 41 is busy from Tampa to Miami.”
Myquarios’ family want’s the school district to make the intersection safer for kids to cross by adding a pedestrian bridge or crossing guards. But the district says that’s an issue for another day.
Mike Barber, spokesperson for the School District of Manatee County, says, “Out of respect for him and his family we will not speak to that issue today. Today the school community is unified to honor his passing.”
“There’s nothing unusual about this crash other than it is very unfortunate. It’s something we’ll have to look into the number of crashes the seriousness of the crashes maybe with a school so close there’s something that can be done for the future,” says Donovan.
Meanwhile, Myquarios’ family prepares for his burial. As tears run down his face, the teen’s father says, “I miss my son want my son back. I know I can’t bring him back.”
FHP is investigating the accident.