The woman who struck two skateboarding boys repeatedly broke down Wednesday afternoon as she described her sorrow about the crash.
"It was a horrible accident," Tammy Linam said.
Linam was cresting a hill Saturday evening when she struck the two boys who had snuck out of a gathering to skateboard.
Jorden Hale, 8, was killed in the crash, which occurred on Northeast Winn Road near Bellefontaine Avenue. His friend, 6-year-old Jesus Gonzalez, is in the hospital with serious injuries. He suffered a head injury and broken bones. He has undergone surgery to repair his broken leg.
The crash was every parents' worst nightmare, Linam said.
"I want the families of Jorden and Jesus to know that they are on my mind and the families are in my prayers for the rest of my life," she said while sobbing.
Jesus' family has retained an attorney. Because of the pending investigation and possibility of a lawsuit, Linam read her brief prepared remarks and didn't take questions.
"I really can't discuss what happened other than to say that it was a horrible accident. Lives have been changed and they are never going to be the same again," she said. "That's all I can say."
She was alone before the microphones.
Linam spoke at the Kansas City Police Department's Shoal Creek Patrol Division headquarters. She has two adult children with autism, and said she has spent her entire life helping people and caring for children.
The department's media relations office helped set up the news conference. Police do not typically set up news conferences for individuals that they plan to seek charges against.
Linam wanted to speak directly to the boys' families and speak at once to the media outlets who have been attempting to reach her.
A candlelight vigil was held at 6 p.m. at Walnut Grove Apartments where Jorden lived.
Among the crowd of loved ones, there was much red and gold, the colors of the Kansas City Chiefs.
"He was a great kid. He Ioved sports. He loved the Chiefs and the Jayhawks," Jorden's cousin, Steven Underwood, said.
His family said they loved to see Jorden clown around.
"He would make you laugh in the saddest times," his godmother, Angela Marcus, said.
And this would be one of those times. His mother could barely stand on her own, and his father had few words.
Jorden's aunt, Tina Goodface, said Linam is also in their prayers.
"It was an accident. It was scary for everyone. And it's hurtful. And she's going to have to live with the pain just like we do. So we understand," Goodface said.
Officers continue to investigate the crash, but at this time believe it was a horrible accident.
A Lee's Summit attorney for Jesus' family issued a statement on behalf of the little boy and his family.
"Jesus Gonzalez, known affectionately to his family and friends as Chuy, is resting and recuperating from his injuries at Children's Mercy Hospital.
"Though he suffered significant injuries, hospital staff have informed family members that he is in good condition. Given the nature of his injuries there are no immediate plans for his discharge from the hospital. Chuy is surrounded by family and friends who are concerned, but hopeful that he will recover.
"The family would like to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the police officers and paramedics who rushed to Chuy's aid as well as the people of Kansas City for their concern during this difficult time. They would also like to thank the physicians and hospital staff at Children's Mercy Hospital for their ongoing care and support.
"Chuy's family extends its deepest condolences and sympathies to the family of their friend Jorden. He was loved and admired by Chuy and his family. He will be missed. It is their hope that this tragedy serves as a lesson to prevent future incidents like this one."
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Thursday, July 31 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:08:39 GMT
It's troubling and alarming an old trend is resurfacing, teens across the country are passing out to get high, and the consequences could be deadly. It begins with rapid breathing, then a sudden gaspMore >
It's troubling and alarming an old trend is resurfacing, teens across the country are passing out to get high, and the consequences could be deadly.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >