Devastated family mourns ‘happy-go-lucky’ 3-year-old hit and killed by gas truck

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It was a heart-wrenching tragedy that stunned witnesses, police and especially the family of Jayden Courtney.

The 3-year-old died last week after he was hit by a utility truck in downtown Kansas City. His family still can't believe he's gone.

"Jayden was a fun, happy-go-lucky kid who loved smiling. He really loved his dinosaurs. He'd play with them all the time. He had them surrounding him at home, and he even had dinosaur pajamas," Marlo Thomas said about her little cousin.

Jayden Courtney

Thomas said last Wednesday afternoon, Jayden and his dad left a neighborhood store and were walking back home near 11th and Grand in downtown Kansas City. That's when Jayden broke away from his father's hand, ran into the street and was hit by a Squire gas company truck.

Police said the truck driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with officers. The crash remains under investigation.

"It is so tragic. We are all just hurting and are so devastated by it," Thomas said.

The 3-year-old suffered critical injuries. Jayden later died at a hospital.

"He had a fun time before all that happened. He had gone to Science City. He was happy, and I'm glad about that," said Thomas, a cousin of Jayden's mom.

"Of course, his mom and dad are just struggling," she said. "It's so hard on all of us, but especially his parents. He was their only child together. They're just struggling with the whole ordeal. We are just praying."

Jayden's funeral services will be held Friday at Serenity Funeral Home in Kansas City. A viewing is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, with his funeral set at noon. A Go Fund Me page that has been set up to assist Jayden's family with funeral expenses.

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