La’Darious Wylie was at a bus stop with his 7-year-old sister when a speeding car approach the children.
Thinking fast, La’Darious pushed his sister, Sha’ Vonta, out of the car’s path. She was saved, but the car struck the 11-year-old South Carolina boy, killing him.
Now the boy is being hailed as a hero, and local officials are trying to find a way to pay tribute to his self-sacrificing final act.
The incident happened last week in Chester, but it was not until this week that the extent of La’Darious’s sacrifice came to light. The children’s mother, Elizabeth McCrorey, told the Herald Online that La’Darious died looking after his little sister.
“He knew to look out for her,” Elizabeth McCrorey said.
McCrorey said Sha’Vonta was knocked to the ground, and by the time she realized what had happened, the driver had taken off. Police would later arrest 57-year-old Michelle Johnson, who now faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. She has since posted bail and was released from jail.
La’Darious was critically hurt by the car and died the following day at a nearby hospital.
The boy’s funeral is planned for Thursday at the Browns Chapel AME Zion Church in Chester, and McCrorey said she and her surviving six children must now find a way to carry on. But McCrorey said she is not harboring any hatred for the driver who took her son’s life.
“I don’t hate her – I just wish she had stopped,” she told the Herald Online.
Local officials are now trying to find a fitting way to remember the heroic boy. Some locals are pushing for the city to rename Brooklyn Park in his honor, and a petition has been circulating encouraging city leaders to take up the idea.
“La’Darious played in the Brooklyn park most of his young life with other neighborhood kids and adults, not far from where he was hit by a moving vehicle that left the scene,” the petition read. “We as a band of Brothers ask that all individuals involved take a look at the Brooklyn Park and add a shelter for family gatherings, safety seats for babies, and renaming the park in honor of the 11 year old La’Darious Wylie.”
The petition has hundreds of supporters and has been shared many times, and it appears it may be working. Chester County Supervisor Shane Stuart appears to be on board, saying naming the park — which is down the street from where the boy died — after him would be fitting.
“It would be an honorable way to remember him,” Stuart said.
Others are reaching out to help the family. A memorial fund has been established to help pay for La’Darious Wylie’s funeral costs. In less than a week, it already surpassed the $20,000 goal.
People from across the country have contributed, many of them leaving messages of support and praising the boy for his selfless actions to save his sister’s life.
“The contributions continue to pour in,” the fundraiser’s organizers wrote. “The outpouring of support and graciousness is heartfelt. May God bless you all! Today Elizabeth lay to rest her brave strong young man. No mother should go through what she going through.”
Others have remembered La’Darious across Chester, placing flowers and candles on the site where he was killed.
— Coleen Harry WBTV (@ColeenHarryWBTV) November 4, 2015
A candlelight vigil was also held for the boy on Halloween night.
— Marvin Beach (@MBeach14) November 1, 2015
Even after his death, La’Darious Wylie was still sacrificing for others. His mother said the boy’s organs were donated so that he could help others in need.
[Image submitted/via McCrorey family]