EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A memorial was set up at the scene where a young boy was hit and killed by a driver on the evening of March 9 in East St. Louis.
According to police, 11-year-old Maurice A. Richards laid in the street for several minutes as cars drove around him, not stopping to help.
The unidentified vehicle struck Richards in the area of State Street and Post Place around 6:30 p.m., about a block away from the boy’s home.
After striking the boy, the suspect’s vehicle left the scene and several cars drove around the child before someone finally stopped and called 911, authorities said.
Detective Jason Hicks from the East St. Louis Police Department said, "Senseless act and well, as citizens of this city, we have to do better because no one will protect it like us. So if you were one of the ones that saw the young man lying in the street and went around him, you know it's not right."
First responders took the child to the hospital where he later died.
Several people in the neighborhood are outraged that other drivers never stopped to help.
An East St. Louis resident, Matthew Walker said, “They could have at least called 911 and helped.”
A memorial began on March 10 at the corner of State Street and Post Place.
Family members said Richards was remembered as a happy child who loved to play with his brother and sisters.
Maurice Richards’ aunt, Sheena Richards said, “He loved to play, ride his bike; be with his family. He always had his little brother tagging along with him.”
The family said Richards was a 4th grader at Gordon Bush Elementary. The District’s Crisis Management Team was brought in to deal with students.
Kelli Hawkins, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for the East St. Louis School District 189 said, “Today at school students are really somber. They understand what’s happened to their classmates and they’re attempting to process everything that’s going on. It’s a lot for an elementary school to deal with.”
The boy’s family is asking for the hit-and-run driver to turn himself in.
“We going to always miss Maurice, but it someone could come forward that would help a little, just a little, but not going to bring him back,” said Sheena Richards.
The community is trying to fully understand why some drivers could have simply gone around the boy and not stopped to help as he lay dying in the street.
If you have any information on the incident or the suspect, please call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477). CrimeStoppers is offering a $5,000 reward.
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