Semi hits, kills boy on bike near Orlando elementary school, troopers say

FHP identifies victim as Kevin Pope

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

ORLANDO, Fla. - A 10-year-old boy on a bicycle was fatally struck by a semitruck near an Orlando elementary school Wednesday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said Thursday that Kevin Pope, of Orlando, died in the crash, which happened around 2:30 p.m. at Wetherbee Road and Landstar Boulevard, less than half a mile from Wetherbee Elementary School.

Kevin, who attended Wetherbee Elementary, was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in critical condition, troopers said. He died about an hour later.

Cornelius Smith said he had just picked up his son from school when they witnessed the crash.

"My son said, 'Daddy, that truck just ran over that little boy,' and when I looked, I seen the back part of the truck running over the little boy and I was like, 'Did we just witness a little boy get hit?'" Smith said.

He said it was heartbreaking to see the aftermath of the crash.

"Just to see the little boy lifeless on there on ground. You know, when I look at him it's like I'm looking at my son. The little boy is laying there lifeless and they are trying to pump life back into him," Smith said.

Witnesses said the boy was crossing in a crosswalk and the semi was turning right when the mid-portion of the trailer hit the child, according to FHP.

Troopers said they have looked at more than 100 trucks in an effort to locate the semitrailer and driver. It's unclear if the driver knew the child was struck.

FHP spokeswoman Kim Montes compared the search to looking for a needle in a haystack.

The FHP said the semi was white with blue and black lettering on the side of the cab. It was pulling a white trailer, the FHP said.

Sky 6 video from the scene showed a lime green bicycle and a black backpack laying in a grassy area near the intersection.

Wetherbee Elementary Assitant Principal Martha Nelson said the boy was riding his bike on his way home after school.

Nelson said the school's Principal Kristy Logue is reaching out to support the student's family.  

Grief counselors will be available at Wetherbee Elementary.

A GoFundMe has been established to help support Kevin's family.

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