Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo 8-year-old killed by car while skateboarding

Investigators on Monday examine the scene where an 8-year-old boy was run over and fatally injured while skateboarding Sunday afternoon.

JIM DAMASKE | Times

Investigators on Monday examine the scene where an 8-year-old boy was run over and fatally injured while skateboarding Sunday afternoon.

LARGO — The sound of unalloyed human grief is hard to describe, but easy to recognize. When wild cries destroyed the midafternoon silence Sunday on Parkview Lane, residents of this ordinarily peaceful neighborhood abutting Taylor Park in Largo knew something was wrong.

No no no no no.

Lynnda Swaine heard the screams as she was frosting a cake Sunday afternoon. "I knew by the tone," she said, "that something had happened." Running into the street, she found her neighbor, Angee Crayton, keening over the body of Elijah, her 8-year-old son.

The boy's skateboard and one of his shoes were lying next to him. Another neighbor, Sarah Boyle, stepped out of a Buick sedan, trembling. According to Swaine and other bystanders, the 36-year-old choked out a phrase she would frantically repeat during the hours to come: I didn't see him.

Elijah Crayton was fatally injured when Boyle accidentally ran him over shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday as he was playing on a skateboard outside his house, according to the Largo Police Department. Police said the boy was sitting on his skateboard and rolling down his driveway into the street when he shot out in front of Boyle's moving car. He was taken by helicopter to a local hospital, where he died, police said.

Largo's traffic homicide unit continued to investigate his death Monday, though Sgt. George Edmiston said it seemed to be the result of a tragic accident. Police said Boyle was probably driving below the speed limit, at 20 to 25 miles per hour, and that she said she saw Elijah just a "split second" before he was in front of her. She tried to stop, but it was too late, Edmiston said.

A woman who answered the door at Boyle's house — just a short walk around the corner from the Crayton residence — declined to speak to a reporter. Elijah Crayton's parents could not be reached for comment.

Elijah was a student in the third grade at Ridgecrest Elementary School in Largo. Grief counselors were made available at the school Monday, said Pinellas schools spokeswoman Melanie Marquez.

"He was one of my favorites," said Mark Warady, Elijah's teacher. "He was a sweet kid. His smile would light up the whole room. I actually called him my 'little character,' because he had his own ways of doing things." Warady added, "He always tried his best. His work wasn't always 'A' quality work, but you knew he tried."

Warady's other students wrote down their memories of Elijah as an exercise in class on Monday. Recurring elements in their recollections were his smile and his fondness for playing football at recess. "I think a lot of them don't understand, really, that he's gone forever," Warady said.

On Monday morning, a tall candle had been placed on the sidewalk next to an orange circle police had painted in the street to mark the spot where Elijah's head came to rest in the accident. Someone had sat a large teddy bear upright next to the candle, along with a plush monkey in a little leather jacket emblazoned with the word Love.

By twilight, the impromptu tribute had grown into a small congregation of stuffed animals, including more teddy bears, a penguin and a pig. More votive candles had been laid out, as well as bouquets of flowers.

Neighborhood resident Roseann Catalano said she had begun the small memorial the previous night as she stood outside. "It just seemed very dark, and it seemed very lonely, so I went in my house and took out a candle," she said.

As Catalano spoke to a reporter Monday evening, it was growing dark again. The cluster of candles cast a weak circle of light on the pavement. At the Crayton residence across the street, a handsome brick house with a basketball hoop in the driveway, the lights were out and the blinds were drawn.

News researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

Largo 8-year-old killed by car while skateboarding 12/03/12 [Last modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 10:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video captures shark attack on seal at crowded beach

    Nation

    ORLEANS, Mass. — A shark attack on a seal at a Cape Cod beach sent beachgoers scrambling, and surfers a few yards away had to frantically swim to shore.

    Thayer Wade captured video of  a shark attacking a seal off a Cape Cod beach. His uncle Pat O'Brien shared the video on Twitter.
  2. Florida firefighter spears giant 409-pound grouper in St. Pete Beach competition

    Wildlife

    ST. PETERSBURG — It took six sets of hands to drag a 409-pound Warsaw Grouper to the stage.

    James Taylor, a Bradenton firefighter, speared a 409-pound grouper near St. Pete Beach during a competition over the weekend. (Courtesy of Michelle Taylor)
  3. Don't know what to do with those eclipse glasses? Donate them.

    Human Interest

    Those who were able to snag a pair of coveted solar eclipse glasses for Monday's event witnessed a moment in history. But now that the eclipse is over, many are left wondering: What do I do with my …

    Workers pass out eclipse viewing glasses during a solar eclipse party on August 21, 2017 at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Tampa, Fla. Tampa experienced a partial eclipse. [MONICA HERNDON  |  Times]
  4. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion

    National

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]
  5. Ford, Chinese partner look at possible electric car venture

    Autos

    BEIJING — Ford Motor Co. and a Chinese automaker said Tuesday they are looking into setting up a joint venture to develop and manufacture electric cars in China.