He was involved in an accident that threw him from his vehicle into oncoming traffic and was run over by a car that just kept going.
“He had a great future ahead of him. He was loved by many,” said father Ricardo Henry.
“Just a beautiful soul,” said Angela Henry, the victim’s mother.
The parents of 22-year-old Elijah Knipe are looking for justice.
“Smiled all the time. Even when times were hard, very hard, he smiled, you know. He would come in the room and he was the brightest one,” said his mother.
According to Bratenahl police, just before 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Elijah was driving westbound on Interstate 90 near Eddy Road when he lost control of his pickup truck.
“They saw him drift into the median and upon striking the median, it threw the pickup truck in the air, knocked it over on it’s side, spun once or twice. Once it came to a stop, the bottom of the truck was facing oncoming traffic,” said his father.
As Elijah was trying to climb out of the truck, a woman driving on the interstate slammed into the truck, which propelled him onto the eastbound lanes on the other side of the highway.
According to his father, a group of guys jumped out to help, trying to stop oncoming traffic.
“They were successful for two or three cars and then out of nowhere, a car came barreling around those cars that had came to a stop and that was the car that struck him,” said Elijah’s father.
Bratenahl police describe the vehicle as a light colored 2013 to 2016 Ford Fusion. Elijah’s parents believe their son survived the initial accident and being tossed across the highway, but died after the car ran him over.
“Witnesses say he was still alive. That’s why they were trying to stop the traffic,” his father said.
“When I hit a squirrel or anything, I look back and I stop like, ‘what the heck?’ You know, anything like that…. so we just want to know why, why would you keep going?” said his mother.
Elijah’s parents say he was the third youngest sibling among eight boys and a girl. They say his dream was to become a police officer.
“He was trying to work toward that, you know, working different jobs and he had an interview on Monday for a new job that he wanted to get, but the police academy was something that he really talked about all the time,” said Elijah’s mother.
The family wants the driver to take responsibility and turn themselves in.
A 53-year old woman, driving the vehicle that hit Elijah’s pickup initially, was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
The family says they are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the hit and run driver.
Elijah’s father, Edward, released the following statement to FOX 8 News following his son’s passing: “
Elijah had a kind soul and a very caring nature. He would always smile no matter what and his laugh was contagious. I still can’t get his laugh out of my head. Even when being preached at by me he would always find a way to shake it off, 5 seconds later his is smiling and saying hey pops can I borrow some money?
He was my sweet boy turning into a man. At 22 years of age, he lived life to the fullest. He had friends everywhere and they love him dearly. His favorite thing was his motorcycle that he road faithfully rain sleet or snow. There are no words I can say and nothing I can do to get my son back. I know he is in heaven with his angels, honey and grandma, who will take care of him until I get there. One of the last things he told me was, “dad I just want to be a man.” And he was realizing that in being a man came much responsibility. I was so proud of him when he would just talk to me about those responsibilities and his plan for his life.
The biggest plan was to become a police officer, I believe in his plan he would’ve made it happen very soon.
Elijah had the best summer, thanks to all of his family, friends, and his best friend, his brother, Xavier Knipe. Thank you Xavier for loving your brother and taking care of him so. Thank you to his mom for being an amazing mom who he knew loved him unconditionally and gave him so much care. Thank you, London for always telling him straight with tough love.Thank you Jeremiah for toughing him up, listening to him, and also giving him that tough love as well. You guys are amazing big brothers. Thank you to his younger brother Nicholas and Christian for sharing in his life-giving him joy and lots of kind brother love. Elijah has an amazing variety of family. We all will miss him, remember him, and are doing wonderful things in his name, Elijah Isaiah Knip. The sweetest most caring man I have the honor of calling my son.”
They have also established a GoFundMe page.