A New York family is mourning after a 5-year-old boy was hit and killed by his father, who was backing out of a driveway on Thanksgiving.
“He was a gift,” Mary Pat Rozeski, the godmother to little James Walsh, told Buffalo News. “God gave us this gift. He was a perfect angel.”
James was outside in Hamburg, New York, on Thursday when his dad backed out of a driveway on Woodview Court, police say, according to NBC New York. His dad backed over him with a car, police say, and James died at a nearby hospital at 2:30 p.m. that day.
Authorities said they don’t suspect that James’ father was under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, according to WGRZ.
The boy’s parents issued a statement to WGRZ, writing that they are sure James is now in the presence of Jesus Christ.
“We are blessed that we have an all-consuming and powerful Lord who has given us our faith,” the statement read, according to the TV station. “... James was born on Christmas morning and he LOVES Jesus. So we know he is with Him.”
Rozeski remembered James, a kindergartner, as a selfless child who loved throwing snowballs and riding his bicycle. After his death, some of his organs were donated, she told Buffalo News.
“He always tried to please everyone around him,” she said, according to Buffalo News. “He wouldn’t say: ‘This is mine.’”
A funeral for James is set for Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Watermark Wesleyan Church in Hamburg, according to the church’s Facebook.
“Today we pray together as a church family,” it wrote, “and community for the Walsh family as they mourn the loss of their son James.”
The Hamburg Police Department expressed its condolences to James’ family and those who first arrived to the scene to help, WIVB reported.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those involved,” the statement read, “as well as to the first responders who assisted in this horrific accident.”