OREM, Utah - An 11-year-old boy has died after he was hit by a pickup truck Wednesday, and his family said the boy was a happy, loving individual whose legacy will live on in those who receive his donated organs.
Orem Police said in a Facebook post Eric Longhurst and a classmate were crossing 1600 North on their Razor scooters when a man in a truck turning left onto 1600 North from Main Street didn't see them and hit Eric.
He was flown to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Thursday at about 7 p.m., Eric died from those injuries, surrounded by family and friends. Eric's father, Mark Longhurst, said they want the driver to know they forgive him.
"We have a lot of hate and anger in the world, and we can be kinder to one another, and this individual I'm sure feels terrible about what occurred," he said.
Officers have not released the name of the driver or the "main contributor" to the accident.
Eric's mom, Carolyn, said her son's last words to her remain in her memory.
"He always said, 'love you' and gave me a hug," she said regarding Eric's last message to her.
Her husband adds: "Things occur in this life that are difficult, and this is difficult for us as a family."
Carolyn Longhurst said her son was a wonderful example.
"He lived a great life, and he lived it to the fullest," she said. "He showed us how to love others."
She said this isn't their family's first taste of tragedy, as Eric was actually struck by a vehicle in this very same intersection two years ago while he was in a crosswalk.
"I feel like that was a preparation for me and for my family to enjoy him more, and love him, and just be grateful for him, and prepare us for this day," she said.
Longhurst's brother, Jason, has written a beautiful blog post to the person in need who will get his little brother's organs and a new chance at life.
Jason said it is what Eric would have wanted.
"Somebody gets to have that heart inside of them," he told FOX 13 News. "I hope that somebody gets to take that with them, somehow a piece of him is still beating."
On March 2, 2016, my 11-year-old brother was hit by a truck while crossing the street. The trauma knocked him unconscious, and the damage to his brain quickly stopped his breathing. Paramedics gave him CPR and doctors helped him breathe, but it was clear that he wasn’t coming back.
Because of his condition, we asked about the possibility of donating part of him to help others. Its what he would have wanted, being the person that he was, and if you are the lucky child who gets his heart, you should know what you can expect.
Eric’s heart was the biggest part of him. He loved more than normal people. He seemed to have an extra portion of vitality and capacity to love than most of us have. Maybe he knew, somehow, that he wouldn’t have as much time as the rest of us, and he was determined to get as much living done as he could.
Eric loved life.
In the summer he begged to go swimming, in the winter he wanted to go sledding. When I went to adopt my dog he came with me and rode with her all the way home. He had a childlike optimism and tenaciousness when it came to family. He loved spending time together and enjoying each other’s company.
Your life has been difficult. Sometimes you might wonder if it is worth carrying on, that the pain is too much or the effort too great. Remember that now you have his heart. Be optimistic and tenacious, life is great for those who choose to live it.
Eric loved people.
Eric loved people. His teachers adored him, his friends worshipped [sic] him, and his family admired him. He knew how to push people to be their best, to encourage them to reach higher and think bigger. He was a light to everyone who knew him because they knew how much he cared.
Sometimes it is hard for you to love. People do stupid things. Sometimes you feel alone and without a friend to lean on. Eric loved others and it made them love him. Remember that your heart is his heart, and you can love everyone. Teach them to reach above the clouds by believing in them, and they will love you too.
Eric loved to win.
Eric loved to win. Many family gatherings were spent playing games around the table. He always wanted to be a part of the game, even if he had never played before. He wasn’t afraid to lose, he just loved playing the game.
It might feel like losing is all you can expect from life, and winning isn’t in the cards. Remember that if you don’t play the game, you will never win. You have to love playing and winning enough to not be afraid of losing. Your heart wants to win, and the only way to win is to keep on playing.
If you are lucky enough to have his heart, remember what a privilege and responsibility you carry in your chest. I hope it feels a little heavier, he will make it feel a little lighter. We thank you, because his heart beats inside of you. Because of you, a piece of him keeps on living.
The rest of us are lucky too. He gave us something special, his love and memory. Everyone who met him or hears his story will carry that for life. He taught us that we can all love life, love people, and love winning a little more. Love is a part of him that all of us can share.
Inside each of us, his heart beats on.