Streetside memorial to 5-year-old killed by truck

Street memorial for Zachary Cole
Street memorial for Zachary Cole

I drive by the intersection of Warring and Derby several times a week and I am always struck by the flowers, balloons, and cards set up at the spot where 5-year-old Zachary Cruz was killed in February.

I do not know if it is his parents, his family’s friends, or just members of the broader community who place all of the loving tributes.  And at times I wonder if there isn’t a more appropriate — and by that I mean happier — spot to commemorate his life.

But the flowers do force me to remember Zachary Cole, who died while walking with  other children from LeConte Elementary to an after-school program at the Clark Kerr campus. He was hit by a truck taking a left hand turn from Warren onto Derby.

It seems like such an innocent intersection. There is a four-way stop and cars don’t tend to travel fast on the road. Yet clearly it is not. When I drive by I am reminded that life can grab the ones we love quickly, without any warning.


In recent days, someone has set a bright orange pumpkin decorated with Zachary’s name on the spot where he died.  Halloween is Saturday and clearly the donor is thinking that Zachary would have enjoyed the holiday.