In Emotional Vigil, 6-Year Old Eli Kindt Remembered at Spot Where He Died
As the Latonia sky filled with balloons and lanterns, 32nd Street below was swarmed by friends, neighbors, and family devastated by the sudden and shocking loss of Eli Kindt.
On Friday afternoon, while riding his bike, Kindt, 6, was struck by a large landscaping truck and died instantly.
On Monday, the young boy who wore #45 for the youngest Bengal Tigers football squad was #1 - as noted by a series of sporty balloons released from the street below, to float alongside hearts and smiley faces and others.
On the count of three, after a moment of silence, the crowd of more than 100 people shouted, "Eli!"
One last cheer for a child cut down in a tragedy that has gripped the community in the days since. He was remembered over the weekend by his teammates and competitors in the Northern Kentucky Youth Football League.
Young Eli would have been surprised by all the fuss, his mother, Casey Jones, said after all the balloons were released.
"He loved everybody," Jones said. "He wouldn't know what to do, I don't think."
The man behind the wheel of the truck that killed Eli appeared in court earlier in the day. Christopher Wells, 45, pleaded not guilty to leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid when he appeared via video in Kenton District Court. He is being held in the Kenton County Detention Center on $10,000 bond and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on October 17.
"I hope they feel terrible for all the pain they're causing," Jones said. "I hope he has seen the damage he has done to everybody, the community.
"I would do anything to have my boy back for just one day."
Story & photos by Michael Monks, editor & publisher