An 11-year-old boy who had run away from home after being grounded has been killed while trying to cross a busy six-lane highway.
Zaelynn Wiseman snuck out of his home in Maryland Heights, in the US state of Missouri, after leaving a note to say he was going to see his father.
His dad lives in Cape Girardeau, a city 200 kilometres away.
Zaelynn reportedly left his home in the early hours of Tuesday morning (local time) and reached the Interstate 270 at about 6.30am where he tried to cross during the morning traffic rush, the St Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
He was struck by a car in the first lane and killed only five kilometres from his home.
The driver of the car reportedly tried to stop in time but couldn’t, and stayed on the scene until emergency services arrived.
Zaelynn, a popular student at the Parkway School District, was described by his counsellor as a warm student, with an infectious smile and zest for life.
The boy was living with his aunt after his mother lost custody of him four years ago.
His biological mum, Garmeisha Terry, told local news outlet KMOV4 that Zaelynn was a bright and bubbly child.
“I will never be able to tell him how I sorry I am that I wasn’t able to be that mother that he deserved, for not taking the time to think about somebody besides myself,” Ms Terry said.
His legal guardian, Rhonda Cox, told the Post-Dispatch that Zaelynn gave “the best hugs in the world”.
Counselling is being offered to Zaelynn’s classmates.
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