ALEXANDRIA, Ky. -- Several hundred people gathered at Campbell County Middle School Wednesday night to honor the life of 12-year-old Eric Raney, who was struck and killed while riding his bike to school Sept. 28.
Teachers, students and other members of the Campbell County community who attended the vigil described Raney as a quiet, hard-working student with a kind heart.
“He was a great student," said school band director Stephen Dietsch. Raney played clarinet in his ensemble. “He was the kind of kid any teacher would be lucky to have in their class."
Alexandria police said that Mark Rachford, 45, was the person who struck Raney with his car and fled the scene where Raney later died. He has been arrested and charged with a felony offense of leaving the scene of an accident and failure to render aid, resulting in the death of another.
"Eric was very well liked," said Superintendent Dr. David Rust the day after Raney's death. "He was a very good student. He was in the band, he was in scouts, he played soccer. It's a hole in our heart right now."
Eric would sometimes ride the bus and sometimes bike to school, Rust said. He lived about a mile and a half from the middle school on a route that has sidewalks and crosswalks the entire way.
He was hit by the truck at 7930 Alexandria Pike, police said -- within sight of where the school zone begins.
Rust urged drivers to pay attention around schools. He said the district is looking at whether it can do anything to make the route safer for students.