La’Darious Wylie, an 11-year-old South Carolina boy, is being hailed as a hero after he gave his life to save his sister. The two children were standing at a bus stop when a car was seen careening towards them. Wylie pushed his sister, Sha’Vonta, out of the way, but was struck head on.
Wylie was flown to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C., where he was declared brain dead. His mother, Elizabeth McCrorey, eventually decided to take him off life support. McCrorey donated his organs to the hospital and he was buried on Thursday.
“We do consider him a hero,” said MaKeesharia Tobias of the City of Chester Police Department, according to The Huffington Post. “To find out that was something heroic he did to save others is amazing to us.”
The car that struck Wylie was driven by Michelle Johnson. She did not stop or offer help. Johnson was later arrested and charged with fatal hit-and-run. She is free on a $25,000 bond and faces up to 25 years in prison, if convicted.
The Wylie family do not bear Johnson any ill will, according to Huffington Post.
“We don’t hate that woman,” said his cousin Kimberly Robinson. “Michelle Johnson’s daughter – about 10-12 years ago — was hit by a car. She was eight months pregnant and her daughter and the baby died. We actually feel sorry for her, because she took away somebody else’s child just like somebody took away hers. We just wish she would have stopped. It would have made a difference.”
Wylie, the son of Elizabeth McCrorey and Carlos Wylie Sr., was a well-liked student at Chester Park Center of Literacy through Technology. He was also close with his family, according to Robinson.
“La’Darious loved his family,” she said. “He was the apple of his momma’s eye. He was well-behaved, he got good grades and he played football. He liked the Baltimore Ravens. The school was supposed to take him to the Bank of America Stadium this week to meet the [Carolina] Panthers and, even though it wasn’t his team, he was so excited because he loved football.”
The family has established a Gofundme account to help pay for funeral costs. The fund has received $25,000 in donations. The Wylie family plans to use any money left over from the funeral to renovate a park near their home.
Yahoo! News said residents of Chester, La’Darious’ home town, have called on city officials to rename a nearby park in his honor.