KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A pair of young brothers were on their way to a day of fun at the Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Tragically, they never made it.
The boys died after their father crashed into a utility pole, landing in a stranger’s front yard.
Relatives said 9-year-old Brian and 5-year-old Dustin were the boys killed in Friday’s wreck at about 11 a.m. near 12th and Ewing.
Their older half-brother Spencer Miller said the boys were the best of friends. Miller said he opened up to FOX 4 because he wants people to know who the boys were, and to remember Brian and Dustin by name.
"They were on the way to the parade," Miller said. "Baby Brian loved it. Every year he’d go."
It was a tradition these boys looked forward to every March. This Saint Patrick’s Day, they didn’t get there," he added.
Miller said relatives called him Friday night and told him his younger half brothers were gone -- killed earlier that day in a crash that left many in a Kansas City neighborhood shocked and devastated.
Miller said his former step dad -- the boys’ father -- and his step dad's girlfriend had the boys in the silver car, which Miller said had someone else’s plates on it.
Miller said the boys’ dad also had a warrant, no insurance, and was under the influence.
"It hurts. Angry," Miller said. "He just cared about himself. He’d rather risk the boys’ lives than pull over and get a ticket."
Authorities haven’t explained yet what happened. They did say there were no child restraints used.
Miller said right now, the focus should be on 9-year-old Brian.
"He was my little man. I raised him for the first few years. Taught him how to use the big boy potty."
And 5-year-old Dustin.
"He’s Brian’s little mini-me. Followed him around everywhere. He loved his older brother."
Miller said he’ll picture them from now on as they were when they were here: a pair.
"They were the best of friends. They did everything together," he recalled.
The family is having a balloon release for Brian and Dustin at 2 p.m. Sunday at Sugar Creek Park. They've invited the public to attend and to bring your own blue and green balloons -- the boys’ favorite colors.
Miller has set up a YouCaring page to help pay for funeral expenses.