|Updated: 10/31/2012 5:31 pm
||Published: 10/31/2012 7:19 am
A community is in mourning after a 7-year-old boy is hit and killed while on his way to school.
Elijah Rivers was wearing a Halloween costume when he stepped off the sidewalk and onto the street near Virgin and North Harvard around 7 on Wednesday morning.
His mother, Kesha Rivers, is heartbroken and now left without her only son.
She says Elijah was excited to be a pirate for Halloween and couldn’t wait to show his classmates his costume. Right now, it’s not clear how fast the driver that hit him was going, but the woman told police it was still dark and she didn’t see the little boy at all.
Experts say it’s so important before you send your children out the door tonight – to make sure they have on reflective tape or carry a flashlight with them.
"I looked out my window and saw the fire trucks and police cars and the ambulances, and I saw them pick up a little child off of the street and I knew something bad had happened,” says neighbor, Ashley Wheeler.
Kesha says she got the news from another neighbor that told her that her only son had been killed.
"My child's belongings were a little ways down from him, and he was lying lifeless on the ground,” says Rivers.
The family tells FOX23 that Elijah was full of life and was always making others feel better about themselves.
"He had a lot of character to him and he liked to play and joke around, and he could put a smile on your face if you were down,” says Rivers.
Although it’s unclear if it would have made a difference in this case, there are things you can do right now to make sure your children are as visible as possible when they head out to trick or treat.
"I think this morning does indicate that you think your child will be safe, but I would prepare them the other way in case there is a problem and I would light them up,” says Ehrles Party Supply owner, Floyd Hannah.
There are several ways you can do this including using reflective tape on your child’s costume or trick or treat bucket. It’s also a good idea to have them carry a flashlight or glow stick. Another option is attaching a kid’s safety light to their costume so that drivers can spot them quickly.
Right now, funeral arrangements are still pending for Elijah. He attended Lighthouse Charter School. There are grief counselors on hand to help the children and the staff.