Family of 7-year-old struck by car speaks out

By Bob Behanian  bio | email

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A North Charleston family is grieving the loss of a boy who died the day before his eighth birthday.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, you don't have to look far to see kids playing on Burton Lane in North Charleston. But last night, seven-year-old Devonte Bonaparte was hit by a car while playing with friends. He was taken to MUSC in critical condition and passed away.

Erica Geddis lives on Burton Lane. She says Bonaparte got along with everyone.

"I saw him yesterday; he was playing with my kids. When he does come around he plays with the kids.  He was a very nice young man, very respectable. What happened yesterday was sad," said Geddis.

Geddis' son was playing with Bonaparte when he was hit by the car. He says he'll miss his friend. "We just liked to throw frisbees around.  I am going to miss him."

North Charleston police says that speed does not appear to be a factor in the accident, but residents of the neighborhood say cars are constantly speeding down Burton Lane, with children playing just a few feet away.

"The kids come here after school around three o'clock. Cars speed by. I know they see the kids playing," said Geddis.

She is hopeful some changes will be made to make the street safer.

"They could at least put some speed bumps or a sign that warns that children are playing,"added Geddis.

Bonaparte's foster mom is in the hospital recovering from an illness. He was staying with his grandmother at the time of the accident.They both say that he was smart, funny and always willing to help around the house.

It's a tough day for a family that would have been celebrating his eighth birthday.

©2010 WCSC. All rights reserved.