8-year-old boy hit and killed by garbage truck remembered as ‘happy, respectable kid’ with a big smile

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Monica Thomas says her little 8-year-old neighbor was always nice and respectable.

“When I first moved here two years ago, he was the first one to run up to me with a big smile and welcome me into the neighborhood," she said. "He would play with my grandkids, my son, and I loved to give him candy."

RELATED: 8-year-old boy dies after being hit by garbage truck in Kansas City

Neighbors said, like so many boys, Dra’Viontay Baker loved to play outside and be on the go in his red wagon or his white miniature toy car.

“He loved those wheels," Thomas said. "He and another little friend of his were always together."

Unfortunately, police say just after 3 p.m. Friday Dra’Viontay was hit by a garbage truck while playing outside with a nine-year-old buddy near 100th Street and Drury Avenue in south Kansas City.

Dra'Viontay Baker

Dra'Viontay died shortly after at Children's Mercy Hospital.

Neighbors told Fox 4 that Dra’Viontay was riding his wagon in the street when he was hit, just an hour after the third-grader left Truman Elementary School.

“He was a good kid," neighbor Ricky Johnson said. "I fed him. He played with my kids. Man, Christmas is just around the corner, and no family should have to deal with this."

Police said the nine-year-old boy was near Dra'Viontay when the crash occurred.

“He started yelling and alerted the driver to let him know something was wrong," KC Police Sgt. Bill Mahoney said. "The driver stopped, and only then he actually noticed the child was underneath his truck."

Investigators said they questioned the driver and determined that he wasn’t impaired.

Friday evening Dra’Viontay’s distraught father and step-mother arrived at the scene of the horrific incident.

“He was a great son and my oldest of six,” Dra'Viontay’s father told Fox 4’S Robert Townsend.

Thomas said her heart goes out to the family.

"I am so sorry for their loss, and I can’t even imagine losing a child," she said. "We will be there for the family, and I’m really gonna miss Tay."