SYRACUSE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) Classmates and parents gathered at Syracuse Junior High to mourn the loss of Dakota Kilburn, 14, who died after being struck in a crosswalk in front of the school Monday night.
Whether it was his family his friends or coaches everyone told us Dakota was a leader who was loved by everyone.
While many visited the memorial next to the crosswalk where he died, his family is making sure his memory lives far beyond in the community.
“Family is struggling, but we’re with that’s giving the love and support that we need beyond what you would ever imagine,” said Jim Kilburn, Dakota’s uncle.
Throughout the evening people began to gather at Syracuse Junior High to pay their respects to Dakota Kilburn.
For his classmates it’s been hard to cope with, but they say the school has changed for the better.
“After he died everyone has been so kind to each other, hugging each other, and everyone being just so kind to everyone,” said Linzie Butler, friend of Dakota.
Friends and family say bringing people together and making them laugh is exactly what Dakota was good at.
The word most often used to describe him was leader.
“There isn’t one person he didn’t pick up and uplift,” said Metcalf, teammate.
As the hundreds of mourners grieved they also made donations to make sure Dakota’s memory would live on.
The family says that support has been overwhelming.
“Proud of him, this is the kind of kid he is. It’s a testament to Dakota. This many people don’t show up unless their is a reason and he brought a lot of love to the community and this community is giving it back now,” said Jim Kilburn.
Dakota’s family says they donated all of his organs and they encourage everyone to become an organ donor. They also plan to use the GoFundMe money to allow kids to play rec football throughout the valley.
The money raised at the vigil Wednesday night will pay for a plaque to go at this crosswalk where he was killed.