MESA, AZ — Mesa police have identified the 6-year-old who died after getting hit by a semi-truck as Holden Gardner.
Family friends said Gardner was in kindergarten at Falcon Hill Elementary School. He was walking home when the incident happened Monday afternoon near the intersection of Power Road and Jensen Street.
Family members told ABC15 Gardner was with his aunt, sibling and cousins. Witnesses said they were on the sidewalk walking toward the intersection to cross the street.
According to police, the driver of the semi-truck was making a right turn onto Power Road when the back wheels went onto the curb, hitting Gardner. Police say no citations or charges have been filed.
Gardner was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and did not survive.
Close family friends told ABC15 Gardner was a happy and smart kid.
"He liked to play, liked school," said Ronald Coon, who has known the Gardner family for more than a decade. "Mom and dad, the children...they're just a loving family."
Gardner was one of four kids. His parents are both teachers. The father is a teacher at Red Mountain High School, and the mother is a substitute teacher.
"They are devastated. It's tragic," said Coon.
Community members have created a memorial for Gardner at the intersection, dropping off balloons, teddy bears, notes, candles and toys.
Micah Korda witnessed Gardner get hit, and said he came back Tuesday to pay his respects.
"I can't stop thinking about the little kid. You know? He wasn't doing anything. He was coming home from school, probably wanted to go home and play video games or throw a football or whatever. Didn't quite get there," he said.
Family friends and church members also tied blue ribbons on poles all over the Gardners' neighborhood and along Jensen, leading up to Falcon Hill.
"My wish is that the community can pray for them. That their burdens and pains can be lifted. It's going to be hard. It'll never go away," said Coon.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help support the family.