WESTLAND, MICH. - Over the course of less than two days, more than $22,000 has been donated to pay for the funeral of a Westland boy hit by a vehicle as he chased his dog onto Wayne Road Saturday night.
Westland Police were called to the area of Wayne Road and Melton about a pedestrian/motor vehicle accident just after 7 p.m. Gage Carter, 10, was trying to catch his dog, which had gotten loose, and followed the dog onto Wayne Road.
The boy was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. His dog was killed in the crash. Police said the driver, a 69-year old woman, stopped at the scene and was not injured.
The investigation into the fatal accident is still open, but police said it is not believed that alcohol or drugs played a factor in the incident.
Gage was a fourth-grade student at Hamilton Elementary School and grief counseling was offered at the school Monday. He lived with his family in the 35000 block of Hazelwood.
A family friend established a GoFundMe account to pay for funeral expenses. By Monday afternoon, more than 500 people had made donations of more than $20,000 — well in excess of the $11,000 goal.
"When I awoke this morning and learned about this horrible tragedy there was only a few hundred dollars in this account, so we donated. It's now 3 p.m. and I am so proud of our community for their generosity and compassion for this traumatized family," said Wayne-Ford Civic League President Vic Barra in an online post.
Dana Lawson wrote, "Today I told my son, he just keeps saying Gage is my best friend, mommy. He was the first one I talked to at my new school (Hamilton). Hayden is going to miss his best friend so much! My prayers go out to his mother, father, brother, extended family and friends! Rest in heaven Gage, gone but never forgotten."
"I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine what you're going through. May God comfort you in this time of need. My prayers are with all of you. RIP sweet angels, Gage and Stitch," Anika Combs commented online.