MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – The Maryland Heights community is mourning the loss of an 11-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a car as he crossed I-270 Tuesday.
The boy has been identified as Zaelynn Wiseman.
Investigators say Wiseman was already dead when first responders arrived.
“There was a 2006 Volkswagen southbound and the pedestrian was walking westbound crossing,” Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Dallas Thompson said.
Family members say Wiseman’s biological mother lost custody of him when he was 7 years old and was living with her cousins. The tragedy happened about two blocks away from his home.
The family would not go into detail as to why Wiseman was on the highway.
Wiseman’s biological mother said he was upset because he was grounded and sneaked out of his home, leaving a note behind explaining he was running away to Cape Girardeau to see his father.
Wiseman was a sixth-grader at Parkway Northeast Middle School. His former principal at McKelvey Elementary School, Kim Cohen, says he was a great student and loved by all.
“I was very close with Zae, I had an opportunity to spend quite a bit of time with him,” Cohen said. “He is that child that had a hug for everyone and a smile that you could be having the worst day and that smile lights up and makes your day better.”
Wiseman’s family issued a statement saying: “Our family is mourning the loss of our beloved Zaelynn. He was a very special child, a unique individual who always saw the best in everyone. He loved animals, karate, and Minecraft. He gave the best hugs and was truly full of love.”
The district is bringing counselors to his virtual classes at both the middle school and his former elementary school.
The Parkway School District and his family are asking the community to keep everyone in their thoughts and prayers.
Wiseman’s family and friends say he was a great student and was loved by everyone. His mother says he will be missed.