WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A good boy who loved construction equipment. Those are the words used to describe the 7-year-old hit and killed by a dump truck in Westfield Monday.
This a close neighborhood here in Westfield.
The street where the accident happened is narrow and the houses packed tightly together.
It’s a place where everyone knows everyone, and now they are mourning the death of a young boy.
“I called him my little fan club because when I pulled up at home, he would come running up “oh Sara!” and come and hug me. I don’t know. It’s terrible,” says neighbor Sara Temple.
Temple lived in the same multi-family house as 7-year-old Michael Ryan, the boy identified by authorities as the one killed near the corner of Montgomery and Crown Streets Monday afternoon.
Temple placed this picture of Michael at a memorial set-up in his honor. The picture was taken when he was five years old at one of his T-ball games.
Temple adds, “He was really interested power tools. He helped me plow the yard one day, in my lap of course. He liked trucks, which is kind of ironic cause he liked big trucks.”
Throughout the day, people stopped by the scene of the accident, including a woman and her two small children crossing the same intersection where Michael was struck and killed, to pay quiet respect.
Across the street, this mom watched her 4-year-old daughter play, acutely aware of traffic.
Neighbors say this is a busy intersection, especially for large trucks. Case in point just since we’ve been here, we’ve seen several go right through
There’s kids around all the time and as a mother myself, my daughter can’t even ride her bike without me being right next to her because of all the trucks coming up and down this lane, speeding all the time. No one ever takes the speed limit,” adds neighbor Cynthia Padro.
Police still haven’t said whether speed was a factor in the deadly accident, but either way, it’s little consolation for the woman who considered the child one of her own.
“I looked at him like my grandchild because my own children don’t want children so… very sad…. it’s sad,” Temple notes.
It’s a tragedy this tight-knit neighborhood will not soon, if ever, forget.
The truck was owned by Moose Meadow Brook Excavation.
Tuesday afternoon, Hamdpen County District Attorney Mark Mastroianni said that “Preliminary information indicates the truck attempted evasive measures before the contact [with Ryan] was made.”
No charges have yet been filed. The case remains under investigation by Westfield Police and State Police, as well as Mastroianni’s office.