Friends, family, classmates and teachers packed a valley park Wednesday night to honor the life of a 12-year-old boy killed this week.
Twelve-year-old Jonny Smith and his friends were crossing Fort Apache Road near Warm Springs Road Monday afternoon when a car hit and killed him.
As dozens filled Faiss Park, the emotions were nothing short of overwhelming. Those who knew and loved Jonny said his life was absolutely filled with light.
“We are going to miss him,” Jonny’s karate instructor Allen Sarac said.
Tears measured the time as the sun set behind so much sorrow.
“He would be probably the greatest person and friend you could ever meet,” Jonny’s 11-year-old neighbor and friend Tyler Fisch said.
Teachers and family members all stood up to speak as the crowd lit candles for Jonny and his family.
“Look at all the eyes, the hearts, the hands,” a family friend said. “The community is together, be thankful for that.”
“I look at my daughter and I look at my son and I think what I would do,” fellow middle school parent Kim Fillmore told 8 News NOW. “You don’t want your child to go before you.”
As those who loved him mourned his death, they also celebrated the light he brought to everyone’s life.
“That boy was so full of life,”a family friend added between tears. “He moved on to share more of himself to everybody.”
They hope to move forward with faith that Jonny’s memory will inspire others to live each day with joy and laughter.
“We all love Jonny,” Sarac said. “We will always remember him.”
“He was probably the friend that made me laugh the hardest,” Fisch added.
Police said Jonny and his two friends were crossing the street outside of a crosswalk when the crash happened, but parents have started an online petition to extend the school zone along Fort Apache Road adding stop signs, along with another crosswalk.
Another one of Jonny’s friends was also hit in the accident, but is expected to be okay.
If you would like to help Jonny’s family, click here for a link to his GoFundMe page.