Family remembers teenager Cordell Gooch after deadly crash

PHOENIX - Cookie Maupins just couldn't bear her 13-year-old boy being known as a just a victim of a suspected drunk driver. Rather she wants him to be known as a boy with big dreams who was loved by his whole family.

"We want people to know what kind of person Cordell is. Cordell was funny, loved to smile and had friends who loved him," said Kim Johnson, Cordell's Great Aunt.

Johnson read a letter prepared by Maupins, who was too shaken still to speak to ABC15.

In the letter she recalled a conversation she and Cordell had on their way home from school.

"He just told his mom on Tuesday, November 28, that he wanted to be a professional basketball player who was also a scientist.  She never imagined that three days later, all his dreams, hopes and goals would come to a tragic end," said a tearful Johnson.

Cordell was riding his bike home from school on Friday, December 1 when police say a 17-year-old driver crossed the median of 19th Avenue just north of Broadway Road and struck Cordell on the sidewalk.

Cordell Gooch was killed.

"He has no idea what he has done, she has cried every moment of every day for her baby," cried Johnson.

But that's not how the family wants Cordell to be remembered.

Instead, they hope his big spirit will live on.

"He was a good kid... he had a fantastic smile, he loved to smile and that is what we'll all remember him by," said Johnson.

The family has started a fund to help with Gooch's funeral costs. CLICK HERE if you'd like to donate.

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