Prayer vigil held for boy, 11, killed in north side traffic crash
the WTMJ News Team
MILWAUKEE- A prayer vigil was held Friday for the 11-year-old boy who was hit by a truck and died Wednesday.
The Peace for Change Alliance held a vigil at the corner of Port Washington Ave. and Keefe Ave. in front of HOPE Christian School, the intersection where Israel Brown was struck.
Friends and family of an 11-year-old boy mourned Thursday after the boy died when a pickup truck hit him.
Grief counselors were helping teachers, staff and classmates of Israel Brown at HOPE Christian School.
Brown died while his friends and classmates watched after school let out Wednesday near the corner of North Port Washington Road and West Keefe Avenue.
Witnesses saw the youngster dart across Port Washington Avenue just before 4:00 p.m.
He was running from HOPE to a relative waiting to pick him up.
"The boy ran out so fast to get to his family member, it was too late. It was just way too late," a witness told TODAY'S TMJ4.
Neighbors say the street is very dangerous.
"I heard a car hit the brakes real hard," said Terry Phoenix, who lives across the street from the school, to TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes.
"Then, I came outside and saw the little boy on the ground."
Phoenix called that stretch of Port Washington Road a danger to anyone.
"The speed limit does say 30, but you know most people do go over 30."
However, Milwaukee Police say the driver was doing the speed limit when he struck Brown.
Both the young friends -- and elderly grandmother of 11-year-old are feeling the same pain.
"It's just bogus how you can hit a little kid in the fourth grade. And he's gone. It's not cool because he didn't even get to finish the rest of his life," said Israel's friend Elijah Armstead.
The driver of the blue pick-up truck was cooperating with police Wednesday night -- and had not been cited for doing anything wrong.
All indications point to this as a terrible accident.
Witnesses told TODAY'S TMJ4 the driver was obeying all traffic laws; he had just turned left onto Port Washington from Keefe and he never saw the boy coming.
The school sent a statement on Thursday saying, in part, "Today is a day of great sadness for the family and friends of Israel Brown and for the entire school community...Israel is a Christian and we are comforted to know that he is with God."
Phoenix knows the sadness the HOPE community feels all too well. His step-nephew also was struck and killed by a car nine years ago.
"Parents need to watch their kids cross the street," said Phoenix.
Counselors were set to assist those at the school for weeks to come.