Witness ‘stunned’ after seeing 11-year-old hit by Calhoun County cruiser

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Ashley Baker said she’ll never forget what she saw Tuesday night on Lenon Street. She was at home when she heard a loud bang and a “dragging sound.”

Baker immediately ran out of the house.

“I came up here barefooted, not even my door locked, not even grabbing my cell phone,” she said during an interview at the intersection of Lenon Street and Michigan Avenue. “Just came up here and seen the moped under the (car).”

Baker was shocked. She said she heard the “cop hit a bike” and saw CPR being performed on the boy.

“I was literally at the point where I was going to cry,” Baker said. “I felt so sorry for the family and friends and everything. It really stunned me.”

Calhoun County Sheriff Matt Saxton said during a press conference Wednesday that the deputy was responding to a call of a burglary in Springfield when the collision occurred.

“That deputy was traveling on Michigan Avenue and had a collision with a subject on a pocket bike, which is a miniature motorcycle," Saxton said at the Marshall Regional Law Enforcement Center. “Unfortunately, the impact resulted in the death of the 11-year-old boy.”

Saxton said the boy was taken to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo where he was later pronounced dead.

“It’s a very tragic incident that we are here today to talk about the death of a 11-year-old boy,” Saxton said. “My sheriff’s deputy has to live the rest of his life being involved with this incident.”

Saxton said the deputy did not have his lights or sirens on at the time of the accident. He stated that the boy didn't either and the pocket bike he was riding was not made for roadways.

He said it appeared the boy rode alongside the cruiser and then tried to make a turn.

“We sit here today grieving for the parents of that 11-year-old child that lost his life yesterday,” he said.  “My prayers and my heart goes out to that family.”

The boy's mother Christina Valadez posted a message on Facebook saying in part, “I have no words and I don’t have any answers.”

A schoolmate of the boy, who went to Verona Elementary, said many teachers and students were upset when they heard the news. Counselors and a Crisis Intervention Team were at the school all day.

Battle Creek Public School Superintendent Kim Carter released a statement which reads in part:

“We are deeply saddened by this loss to our school community and will make every effort to help our students and staff through this tragedy."

Throughout the day on Wednesday, neighbors and classmates stopped by the site of the accident to lay down flowers and lights and a cross. By evening, a makeshift memorial had been created to  honor the boy's short life.

“I’m not saying this to be political but that officer should be suspended,” Baker said. “He should because he should’ve known to turn on his lights."

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10 comments

  • PoliceYourself

    “I’m not saying this to be political but that officer should be suspended,” Baker said. “He should because he should’ve known to turn on his lights.”

    Always the cops fault with these people, YES, in fact, you were saying that to be “political”, as if you even know what that means. Where were the parents while this 11 year old kid is riding a mini bike in the street. How about some personal responsibility before going after this cop.

    Its tragic, and yeah, maybe the kid would have grown up to be “something”, you do know that everyone who grows up becomes something! It was an accident, and bad stuff happens to good people all the time, its called life, and maybe we should get on with it.

  • Martin Heldt

    Cops en route to a call should have their lights and sirens on to protect the public. I am so sickened to see people defending any and all police actions. This cop killed a kid and that is the bottom line.

    • Truth

      I think this a terrible accident, but thats all.
      However, to lay it out in real life, police do not always use lights and sirens, particularly when responding to a burglary in progress. It’s their job to respond to calls in the manner best suited to the situation.

      You simply sound like a cop hater, trying to make this into more than just the terrible accident that it was.

      • Danielle

        I’m a cop hater but can not see this as the cops fault. Same instance the boys not at fault.. accidents happen.. I will say my kids own dirt bikes and nd mini bikes. We ride them in open feilds, educate the kids and keep them under lock n key when not in use. Sad situation but in the end the officer doesn’t deserve to be treated as a killer.. :) I hope everyone peace

    • Robin L Groat

      You say a cop killed a kid like it was deliberate on his part. It was an ACCIDENT – No intent! And…. why would a police car going to stop a break-in alert the intruder by sounding sirens? You are also assuming “lights” refers to headlights when it could mean his siren lights –

  • Jimmy

    It’s very unfortunate that this happened. It’s also unfortunate that people are going to blame and point fingers at the cop. It’s always gotta be someone’s fault. Again ,really unfortunate, people, keep your kids out of the road, especially on non street legal machines. That cop could have been anyone of us. He wasnt negligent, just unfortunate all the way around.

  • Ann Bowens

    I think its sad they would cancel mike and Molly cause she lost weight she was always trying loss weight and trying get mike to cause of health reasons I thimk it would been great if they would have written it into the show would made lot ratings .they should knew this .sad.I don’t care if they post my point on this or contact me not at all thanks have a bless day

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