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‘A whole piece of me is gone now:’ Family mourns death of 16-year-old hit by driver

Posted at 10:27 PM, Oct 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-26 01:23:17-04

 WYOMING, Mich. — 16-year-old Leighton Doyle was walking home from work Friday night around 9:30 when he was hit a killed by a passing pick-up truck.

The teen had just left from his job at the Subway on the corner of 54th and Division when he was hit while trying to cross the road. Police said he crossed in an area without a designated crosswalk.

A subtle memorial of flowers near the side of the road now mark where the teen's life was taken. It's the same place several family and friends gathered Saturday evening in his honor for a candlelight vigil.

“I just, my first reaction I completely broke down, I just fell to the floor," said Daniel Doyle, Leighton's father.

“People need to know, Leighton he was not an average kid by any means, he was something special, something very, very special."

The 16 year old is described as a 'peace maker' by his father, always wanting to lead and help his younger siblings.

Doyle was a student at Crossroads High School.

While he was known as Leighton to some, he was also known as Zach Gray to many others. His family told FOX 17 his name was legally changed after he was adopted by his grandparents several several years ago.

Regardless of what name he might've gone by, his father and stepmother say it was his loving demeanor long with his continued ambition and humor that remained constant.

“You just want him back, you want to hug him one more time, you just want to hear his voice and you can’t and it’s all because of an accident," said Brooke Doyle, Leighton's stepmother.

“It feels like a whole piece of me is gone now, it’s so hard to even explain."

The accident is one Leighton's family members acknowledge known could've been prevented but a tragedy they say they hope serves as a reminder and warning to others.

“Hopefully it’ll teach other kids to cross at those cross walks, wear those bright colors, don’t dart in front of cars, because that’s how easy it can happen," said Brooke Doyle.

The accident remains under investigation.