Friends, family honor 9-year-old Mesa boy

Posted at 9:35 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 00:55:34-05

Friend and family came together Friday night to remember a 9-year-old Mesa boy.

Izaya Ruiz died after being hit by a truck Thursday near Dobson Road and Rio Salado Parkway.  

Police say Ruiz was leaving a nearby park, crossing the street on his skateboard when he was hit.

Many people hugged each other close as tears ran down their cheeks.

“I wish he was still here,” said Izaya’s friend Jolani Turner. “We were planning to have a sleep over today.”

Jolani says he grew up with Izaya and he will miss his jokes the most.

“He was the best friend I could ever have,” said Jolani. “I didn't know anyone here. And he was the first person I met. I could trust him with anything.”

A football, candles and balloons decorated the spot where Izaya’s life was cut short.

“It's just heartbreaking,” said family friend Priscila Delarosa. “It's just so sad because he was so full of life and he wasn't able to fulfill his whole life.”

The family knocked on the door of a neighbor’s house. They hugged and thanked the man who jumped in to give Izaya CPR right after he was struck by the truck.

“Nobody gets over that right away,” said Ross Line. “I think it will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Many of the moms who brought their kids to the scene said they were having a hard time explaining what happened to their children.

“What do you tell your kids when their friend is gone?” asked Delarosa. “It's just really sad.”

As night fell, the candles burned brighter, the tears fell faster and loved ones held each other closer, wishing for a different ending. 

“If he was here right now, we'd be having the best time of our lives,” said Jolani.

Police said he driver who hit Izaya stayed at the scene. Investigators say it appears it was just a tragic accident.

The family has set up a go fund me page as they raise money for funeral expenses. You can donate here.