EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Fifteen-year-old Kevin Patterson of East St. Louis had dreams of owning his own Chick-fil-A restaurant but his life was cut short in an auto accident last week.
From the moment Patterson found out he’d been hired atChick-fil-A, his mother said he was happy.
“He loved Chik-Fil-A! I said, ‘We're going to get you a job atChick-fil-A.’ It was my goal to get him a job,” said Alexandria Hardin, Patterson’s mother.
Patterson impressed colleagues and coworkers for eight months with his work ethic and smile.
“I've done thousands of interviews,” said Dave Holmes, owner, and operator of the Chick-fil-A in Fairview Heights. “He was honestly one of the best interviews I ever had. I hired him on the spot.”
But last Tuesday night, a truck rear-ended the car Patterson was riding in. He later died at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
“I’m not going to lie. I have cried in front of my directors and team,” Holmes said. “It’s been difficult and by no means have we healed.”
Holmes wanted to help, so he’s donating between 10 and 15 percent of Monday’s sales at his store to Kevin Patterson’s family. The money will be used for the funeral service and to help mom at this tough time.
“I can’t bring my son back but this does help me,” Hardin said. “It gives me a little comfort.”
Coworkers left messages for Patterson to let him know he won’t be forgotten.
“He inspired not only customers but he inspired my team,” Holmes said. “As tragic as this is, he brought my team together.”
The 17-year-old who was driving the truck that hit the car Patterson was riding in has not yet been charged but the investigation into the accident is ongoing.