DEARBORN HEIGHTS — A seventh grade student in the Dearborn Heights’ District 7 School District has succumbed to his injuries after being struck by a car Friday night.
The student, 12-year-old Joey Smith, was fatally struck by a vehicle as he rode his bike home from a high school football game at Annapolis High School on Oct. 14.
“It is with a great deal of sadness that I am informing you of the death of one of our students,” a post on the Dearborn Heights’ D7 School District’s Facebook page read. “This tragic event has affected the entire school and I wanted you to be informed so that you will know what happened in order to discuss it with your child. On Friday evening, one of our seventh grade students was struck by a car as he rode his bike home from the high school football game. Emergency personnel responded immediately, but the student sustained extensive injuries and died at the hospital. We are shocked and saddened by this tragic event. We are activating our district crisis team and will make counselors available to anyone in our school community. Additionally, counselors have been assigned to the middle school to assist the teachers and students. These counselors will remain in place for as long as needed.”
The post said that the district wanted parents to be aware so that they can discuss with their children.
“There is no way to predict how this tragedy might affect your child, but changes in behavior might be a signal that your child may need assistance to deal with the death of a friend,” the post read. “Talk with your child about his/her feelings about the tragedy, share your feelings too. Talk about what happened; give your child information he/she can understand. Reassure your child that they are safe; you may need to repeat this reassurance often. Listen and comfort your child often. Please contact the school at 313-203-3200 if you feel that further follow-up with your child would be helpful. Thanks for your support as we move forward. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this time of unimaginable loss and grief.”
Smith is described as an only child to a very proud mother and a GoFundMe was started for the family. Those interested in donating can do so on GoFundMe.
“Please say a prayer for the person who was driving the vehicle that struck and killed Joey,” a family friend said in a Facebook post. “As we all know, there is grief for both sides of everyone involved.”
The Dearborn Heights Police Department began receiving calls at approximately 10:27 p.m. for a vehicle hitting a bicyclist at the intersection of Annapolis and Pardee. Upon arriving at the scene, the police and fire department found Smith and rendered first aid. He was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries later that night.
Police said the driver stayed at the scene and was cooperative. While drugs and alcohol are not believed to be involved, a blood draw was done and will be forwarded to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Dearborn Heights Police Chief Jerrod Hart said that a witness saw the driver come to a complete stop and that the driver was not speeding in the area.
“Our Dearborn Heights community is heartbroken by the loss of 12-year-old Joey Smith,” Mayor Bill Bazzi said in a Facebook post. “Our hearts and prayers are with his mother, Katie Smith, his grandfather and my dear friend, Phillip S. Smith, Bonnie Ingall Smith and all of his loving family and friends. We will forever miss Joey’s heartwarming smile and kind heart. Rest in peace, sweet angel.”
The Annapolis High School Class of 2023 seniors have scheduled a candlelight vigil for Thursday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. in the parking lot of Annapolis High School to honor and remember Joey Smith.