Painful lesson follows child's death in Batavia

BATAVIA, Ohio -- A Batavia family and community grieving the death of a 7-year-old boy killed while riding his bike this weekend are hoping changes to the road will help keep other children in the neighborhood safe.

Evan Geer died after he rode his bike into the path of a Jeep Wrangler at the intersection of Fifth Street and Wood Street just after noon on Sunday.

Batavia resident Melissa Maloney, 43, was driving the vehicle, according to highway patrol.

A helicopter transported Geer to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No one inside the Jeep was injured.

On Monday, Geer’s family and neighbors gathered around a sprouting tribute made up of teddy bears, flowers, the boy's soccer jersey and other items draped near a cross at the intersection where the accident happened.

"I am so thankful to everybody who wants to come and show support for him, because he was the best little boy in the world,” said Geer’s aunt, Kimberly Leigh. “He loved to be dirty, play. He pushed the limits. And he pushed the limit just a little too far this time. He just couldn't help it."

Several members of the community said they want motorists to be more aware when they drive through the area due to the number of young children who live and play there.

The speed limit is 25 mph where the accident occurred. But residents say drivers tend to travel a little faster than they should.

Community members also want Batavia to take extra steps to ensure the safety of their children. One suggestion is posting a “Children At Play” sign in the area.

"It happens. You see it all the time on TV. You don't think it's going to happen until it happens to you," Leigh said.

Nearby resident Billy Helton said Geer’s death has reminded him to make sure his three sons pay attention around traffic.

“He came here and played with my three boys every day,” he said.

Geer would have turned 8 years old at the end of the week.

"Take time to tell your family you love 'em, because it might be your last chance,” said Geer’s grandmother Frances Clark. “Mean it from your heart."

The Ohio State Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation into the crash.

The driver of the Jeep Wrangler was not cited.

On Monday, a Facebook memorial was posted for Geer and a fund raising event was announced. Read more here: http://on.fb.me/18mAOGj

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