LIVINGSTON - A family is mourning the loss of an 11-year-old boy after he was hit by a car on Thursday, July 18.
According to a post by his mother Cassidy Sallee Leonard, Cayden James Leonard was killed by a car while riding his bike with friends near the Livingston Depot Center, at the 100 block of Chinook Avenue in downtown Livingston.
In the post, Leonard describes her son as "the most stubborn, strong willed, loving, and compassionate person I've ever met," calling him her "shining star."
The family hopes to make it clear that they do not blame the driver for the death.
Instead, they're focusing on honoring the short life of their son. In an obituary on the Franzen-Davis funeral home website, Cayden is remembered as a boy who "brought joy to all who knew him through his infectious personality, clever comments, and kind heart."
A GoFundMe had been set up to support the family with funeral expenses and other needs during this difficult time. As of Sunday afternoon, it had already raised more than $4,200, far surpassing the original goal of $1,000.
The family released a statement through Cayden's aunt, Nicole Sallee:
The family would like to thank the community of Livingston for its overwhelming support. We are especially grateful to the first responders and the staff at Livingston Healthcare. As you can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone and we ask that you respect the family’s privacy. While funeral arrangements will be kept private, the family will be holding a vigil at the accident site (100 block Chinook Ave) on Thursday July 25 at 7:00 p.m. We invite neighbors and members of the community to join us in celebrating Cayden’s life.