Vigil Honors 11-Year-Old Smyrna Boy Who Died In Accident
by Emily Luxen
SMYRNA, Tenn. - Family and friends gather to celebrate the life of a Rutherford County boy killed in a freak accident.
Hayden Alexander, 11, died after falling from a tree house at his family's home in Smyrna on Tuesday.
Friday night, family members, friends and teachers gathered at John Colemon Elementary School in Smyrna for a candlelight vigil. Person after person shared stories and memories of the boy they described as generous, energetic and loving.
"I'm just trying to hold onto those bright eyes blue eyes, and that pretty smile," said one person at the vigil.
"We expect any minute for him to jump out and try and scare us or tell us a joke," said another person.
Many tears were shed and hugs shared as people closest to Alexander try to come to terms with the tragedy.
"We didn't realize he touched so many people," said Selena Alexander, Hayden's mother. "It was our privilege to be his parents, it really was."
Wednesday, Alexander's family created a profile on the fundraising website YouCaring.org to help cover funeral expenses. Within 24 hours, more than $15,000 had been contributed which was more than was needed. The family will be donating leftover money to another family in La Vergne whose young son just passed away from a medical condition.
His family said they are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support.
"The community coming together to help in our time of need, it really has been a light in the darkness," said Karen Thompson, Hayden's Stepmother.
Visitation with Alexander's family is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday with the funeral set for 2 p.m. Sunday Woodfin Funeral Home in Smyrna.