LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Hundreds attended a memorial service for 11-year-old Dylan Geitgey Thursday afternoon. The soon-to-be sixth grader died from injuries after police said he was struck by a car off Shenandoah Drive on June 26 at 8:03 p.m. Those who attended the service at Northeast Christian Church remembered Dylan as the "Little Marine." Friends said he wanted to become a U.S. Marine like his military father and Dylan was "proud of his dad."
Service participants included uniformed Marines who stood in front of the small casket for a boy one teacher described as the "heart and soul" of his school basketball team. Friends remembered Dylan's love for football and his favorite team the Minnesota Vikings.
As two parents prepare to bury their son, questions continue about the events leading to his death. 15-year-old Larome White called Dylan Geitgey his friend for the last five years and is still shaken up about the crash he witnessed Saturday.
"I'm having dreams about him and stuff...like how I saw him lying on the ground and I thought he was gone," White said. "I was on the sidewalk and my (other) friend was in the grass and the car came speeding fast, didn't stop at the stop sign or anything and it swerved onto the other lane and into the grass and hit Dylan while he was on the sidewalk."
White said he read the police account of events in the newspaper and one detail stuck out about that night.
"A female was driving the vehicle believed to be a Ford Escort, westbound on Shenandoah Drive, struck a bicyclist who was in the middle of the road," said Dwight Mitchell, a LMPD spokesperson, in a June 28 press conference.
We first spoke with Mitchell two days earlier on the night of the accident. The police spokesperson first told WAVE 3 the driver of the Ford Escort later identified as 30-year-old Angela Baumia, left the roadway, struck Geitgey and crashed into the garage of a nearby home. A day later Mitchell said he spoke with the sergeant who handled the case and said the child was in the middle of the street when hit. White described what he witnessed at the scene.
"She was going straight at first and all of a sudden she started turning to the side, going into the grass, hit Dylan, kept going and ran into a truck," White said.
Mitchell said police stick by the findings of the lead sergeant and accident reconstruction specialists who handled the case. Police have not said speed played a role in the crash but Mitchell said detectives are not ruling out any factors at this time. This includes alcohol, something Mitchell said is "definitely a factor, " but said it is unclear to what extent. The police spokesperson told WAVE 3 the department is waiting for lab results of blood tested after the crash and working with the Commonwealth Attorney's office to determine what charges will be filed. The driver, Baumia, has not been arrested and charged according to Mitchell. Monday WAVE 3 reported Baumia was convicted of DUI in 2004.
A parent who lived near the scene of the accident tells WAVE 3 police returned to the location on June 30th around 8 p.m., close to the same time of the accident. The woman said officers interviewed her daughter again and her ex-husband who both witnessed the weekend crash. The parent described seeing police vehicles and a young boy she did not recognize, riding a bike along the orange spray-painted marks still visible from the weekend investigation.
Dylan Geitgey will be buried in his hometown of Carrollton, OH on July 3.