Family remembers David Ritchie, 28, struck and killed on I-70

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A family prepared to lay their loved one to rest on Monday evening.  David Ritchie was just 28 years old when he died last week, struck by several cars and killed as he tried to cross I-70 on his way home from work.

"He didn't come home," said Dawn Ritchie, David's mom.

It was early last Wednesday morning when 28-year-old David Ritchie was getting off the night shift at Wal-Mart and tried crossing I-70 to go home.

"I've read a lot of rude comments. He wasn't suicidal, he wasn't on drugs, and he wasn't some stupid idiot. He was just trying to get home that morning, and he made a really bad judgment call," Dawn said.

David has worked at Wal-Mart for almost a decade, at this particular location for two years.  His family thought he took Adams Dairy to get home, so they aren’t' sure if he always walked across the highway or if this was a one-time thing.

"David was 28, but he functioned at the age of eight. He was mildly, mentally retarded, and I feel like an eight-year-old saw a shortcut," said Ritchie's younger sister, Leah, who doesn't think he thought it through or realized the consequences. "He was the sunshine of our life.”

"Just a good boy," said Dawn, as she trailed off in tears.

When David wasn't answering his mom's phone calls, she went to Wal-Mart to check what time he clocked out. She called the police station and they didn't have enough information at that point.

"Probably within 40 minutes the police were here with a chaplain. And I knew. I knew as soon as I saw the car out front," Dawn said.

David's family says he was a kind, gentle man, and kept in touch with friends both near and far.

"He was happy, even on the worst days he couldn't be negative," Leah said.

“We're heartbroken," said Dawn. "We're heartbroken."

David was very active with the Special Olympics. His team is the Blue Springs Power Cats, and any money raised in David Ritchie's memory is going to Special Olympics Missouri. The funeral is Tuesday, August 26 at 1 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 19th street in Blue Springs.