GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Loved ones who knew a young man who was hit and killed by a car earlier this week held a vigil to remember him on Thursday.
Officials identified the victim as 19-year-old Mavonty Callahan.
“Just a joyous person,” said Latisha Callahan, his mother. “He liked music; he liked people; he liked cars.”
Balloons filled the sky and candles were lit at the event, which was held where it happened near the intersection of Burton Street and Paris Avenue SE.
Callahan graduated from Union High School in 2021.
In a letter sent to families, Grand Rapids Public Schools described Callahan as a “sweet, kind student who always had a smile on his face.” Officials added he brightened up people's day and was a joy to be around.
According to Callahan’s mom, he was autistic and was attending a transition center. While the incident is still under investigation, she believes her son did something he always did and walked around the family’s neighborhood while waiting for his school bus.
“He was always alert; he knew these streets,” said Latisha Callahan. “He always got out of the way… I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve seen things, lots of things, happen, and I just never imagined that it would be my child one day.”
Grand Rapids police say the driver is cooperating.
As Callahan learns to go on without her son by her side, she is asking people to be careful while driving.
“I spent every moment with him,” said Latisha Callahan. “I clothed him; I bathed him; I fed him. It’s hard because I’m looking forward to doing it and now I don’t do it anymore. It’s just done.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Callahan’s family pay for funeral expenses. To donate, click here.