Community and family remember life of 7-year-old hit and run victim ahead of funeral

·2 min read

Community members in Windsor Ont., continue to mourn the tragic death of a 7-year-old boy who was the victim of a hit-and-run collision earlier this week.

As the investigation into the death of Kuothhorko "Kuzi" James continues, people gathered Friday evening to pay respects at a candlelight vigil at the scene of the tragedy, ahead of a funeral scheduled for Saturday.

An obituary written by "Kuzi's" family describes him as being a sweet sibling and son, and full of energy.

"Kuzi was one of the sweetest and brightest kids I've ever met. I'll always remember how caring he was. Even though he couldn't communicate what he was trying to do, he would always show it with his actions," reads the written obituary posted online.

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

The family said James loved to draw, and was interested in cooking and baking. They added he could often be found jumping and playing sports, like soccer or basketball.

"Kuzi would draw cars, houses, and all the characters from the cartoons he watched. But the thing that really touched our hearts the most is when he would draw us, his siblings and his parents."

Attendees at the vigil were asked to bring balloons and stuffed animals to mark the spot of the tragic incident in the area of Jefferson Boulevard at Haig Avenue.

"Tonight for me means … community, and it also means life is short and it's a reminder how precious life is," said one vigil attendee, Brandon Meanney, who is a neighbour to the family.

Meanney said he wasn't surprised by the turnout at the vigil, adding that his family went through a similar experience a few years ago. He said his family received the same amount of support from the community at the time.

Jacob Barker/CBC
Jacob Barker/CBC

"It doesn't surprise me that other people in Windsor would just take time to come and show support to the family," he said. "I really feel for the family because everything going forward will be different for them."

The vigil occurred on the same day police said in a release that they had seized a vehicle suspected of being the one involved in the hit and run.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday at Windsor Seventh-day Adventist Church. Reservations are required to attend the funeral service, and seating is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. The noon service will be live streamed through the Windsor Seventh-Day Adventist Youtube channel.