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Elementary school choir sings at State Capitol in honor of classmate killed in tragic accident

Posted at 9:58 PM, Mar 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-13 23:58:00-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- There was a special musical presentation at the Utah State Capitol this week, as an elementary school choir paid tribute to a young boy recently hit and killed by a car.

Wednesday was “Music Day on the Hill”, and while the choir from Northridge Elementary School had been chosen to perform earlier, a tragedy a week prior gave the kids a new reason to sing.

Eric Longhurst, 11, was hit and killed earlier this month as he was crossing 1600 North with his friend. He was a member of the choir, and his classmates sang one of his favorite songs, “Seize the Day” in his honor.

"He always said 'love you' and gave me a hug,” said Carolyn Longhurst, Eric’s mom.

“I love you" were the last words Eric said to his mother as he rushed out the door on March 2nd.  Moments later, Eric and his friend were riding their scooters at 1600 North and Main Street when a man driving a pickup truck hit Eric. The boy died the next day.

The family says Eric will continue to bless the lives of others, as he was an organ donor.

"Somebody gets to have that heart inside of them, I hope," said Jason Longhurst, Eric’s oldest brother.

Jason wrote a beautiful post titled  "to the child who gets my brother's heart."

At the Capitol performance, choir members wore purple ribbons that said "Eric Longhurst, forever a Nighthawk."

"He always was kind of the life of the chorus, he was always the first one to smile, he was always the one who had the most gregarious personality,” said Eric Woodhouse, the principal at Northridge Elementary School. “He loved to sing, he loved to smile, and he loved to make others feel good.  He was one of the ones that, if they didn't feel included, he was the first one to come in and make sure that they were included."

While mourning the loss of their friend, the fifth and sixth graders from Northridge Elementary decided together to sing as a celebration of Eric’s life.

Chorus Director Kathy Vest said Eric's voice will be deeply missed, and that his vibrant energy and enthusiasm for life were evident in his singing.