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Kansas City dad prepares to walk stage in honor of son lost in crash months before graduation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Graduation day is supposed to be one of the happiest moments for a parent, but one Kansas City father is preparing to walk across the stage in place of his dead son. Seventeen-year-old Ra’Shad Leggs died in a car accident in February. A car crashed into his along Ward Parkway.

Ra’Shad was supposed to graduate Friday at Ruskin High School, so his father is taking those steps for him.

“Losing Ra'Shad was probably the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life,” Ellery Leggs said.

Ever since Ra’Shad was a little boy, he looked up to his dad Ellery. You can tell in pictures, how close their bond was, as Ra’Shad’s arm is holding father tight.

“We not rich, we're not well off, but we were rich in love,” Leggs said.

When Ra’Shad started high school he made a promise to his dad, that he would graduate and now that 17-year-old is fulfilling that promise.

“I told him to shoot for the stars. And we made it.”

Except Ra’Shad is not here to celebrate. The teenage boy was pronounced dead inside his car in February. Ra’Shad and his cousin Quentin were leaving the movies, when another driver crashed into them. Both Ra’Shad and Quentin died that night.

“I told myself, him leaving so early like he did, that he would have to live through me,” Ellery said.

So when Ruskin High School called, the dad said he would be walking across the stage Friday, accepting his son’s diploma.

“I will walk up and accept that with great honor,” he said.

Ra’Shad’s mom has spent the day making banners and cutting out pictures of her son to hold up during graduation. She’d give anything to see him walk across the stage alive.

“I know how hard he worked for it. Just to hold the stick up and him not be there, it's heartbreaking," Adriana Seward said.

Ra’Shad had dreams of becoming a pediatrician and although he didn’t reach that goal, he kept his promise to his dad and with each step his dad gets to return the favor.

“We gonna do this with honor for you son. We're so proud of you. Love you to death. See you when I get there,” Ellery said.