SARASOTA, Fla. — A Sarasota family is grieving after their son was hit and killed by a truck while on his way to school.
"It shouldn’t have happened. I don’t care what excuse or reason" said Joshua Morris, a close family friend.
The crash happened around 7:30 a.m. on Monday at the intersection of Webber Street and Nodosa Drive in Sarasota.
State troopers said 9-year-old Roman Miller was on his bike and entered the crosswalk to cross Nodosa Drive. Troopers said a 25-year-old driver stopped at the stop sign then proceeded past the stop sign and struck the boy on the bike. His sister witnessed the crash.
"A 5th grader shouldn’t have to sit there and say, 'I couldn’t fix it!' No one should ever have to go through that in life," Morris said.
Strangers, friends, neighbors and classmates created a memorial where the boy died.
Morris said the family is from Ohio and recently moved back to Sarasota. Miller was less than a half mile from the school when the crash happened. The children living in the neighborhood do not take a bus because they live within a two-mile radius from the school.
"Last night, they were planning and debating on how to build a fort and today now they’re planning a funeral," Morris said.
School district officials said the Superintendent was at Brentwood Elementary on Monday and met with staff and students for most of the day.
The district also had a crisis team on campus who assisted additional counselors who were on campus.
"We're also asking parents that if they wouldn’t mind monitoring their child's behavior so if by chance they really believe they need some support, we want to make sure we get that child some support," said Tracey Beeker, Communications Director for Sarasota County Schools.
"A lot of times for some children it may take them a whole day to process the sad news that they learned so we will have those counselors available tomorrow and actually throughout the week we'll have additional support at the school," added Beeker.
Friends have set up a website where people can donate money to provide meals to the child's family.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the family cover the expenses that come with losing a child.
A vigil will take place on Thursday, May 23 from 6 – 7 p.m. at Brentwood Elementary School located at 2500 Vinson Avenue in Sarasota. The memorial will take place on campus in the courtyard. This a closed event to the Brentwood Elementary School community and surrounding neighborhood.