A grieving family holds a vigil for child lost in hit and run, on what should have been his birthday

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - Instead of celebrating a little boy’s birthday Tuesday night his family was considering plans for the youngster’s funeral. Collia Leachman is the boy’s cousin. She’s overwhelmed by sadness, “Upset, mad, frustrated, sad, so many emotions you can’t even explain it.”

A crowd of more than 50 jammed the corner of Union and Wabada.  The mother of Brinyn Leachman was surrounded by hugs and love from family and friends.  Ken Walker is a family friend, “That little boy, he was real nice, he was quiet, he always had a smile on his face.”

Brinyn was in the car with his mother and family when witnesses say an SUV ran a red light and smashed into Brinyn’s vehicle throwing him several feet from the vehicle. He was killed instantly early Monday morning. Robert Slack is the boy’s father, “Your child is supposed to bury you, you’re not supposed to bury your child, his birthday is today I don’t know what to say.”

Those who gathered sang Happy Birthday to the boy who would have turned 11.  Now his family clings to support from loved ones. Everyone wants justice, those responsible to be held accountable, “One man said to people passing by, “If you know something, seen something, speak up.”

The people in the car that hit Brinyn ran from the scene.  One woman who attended the vigil said, “Just turn yourself in for the sake of my family.”  People who live in the area said it’s not unusual to see drivers run the stop light.