Levi Wright’s Parents ‘Trying to Navigate’ Life After His Fatal Toy Tractor Accident (Exclusive)

"Our little guy has just made such an impact on millions of people," Mindy Sue Clark tells PEOPLE

<p>Facebook</p> From left: Kallie and Spencer Wright with their son, Levi


From left: Kallie and Spencer Wright with their son, Levi
  • Levi Wright's parents are "trying to navigate what life is going to look like" without their 3-year-old son, family friend Mindy Sue Clark tells PEOPLE

  • Levi died after he was critically injured when he drove his toy tractor into a Utah river last month

  • "The reach that our little guy has had, I can't even put it into words," Clark says

The parents of 3-year-old Levi Wright are figuring out how to go on — and how to honor his memory — after he died on Sunday following an incident in which he drove his toy tractor into a Utah river last month, a close family friend tells PEOPLE.

"They're obviously trying to navigate what life is going to look like without Levi," Mindy Sue Clark says. "They are very adamant about wanting to make sure that his name doesn't die and that they can continue to carry things forward."

Levi died on June 2 after he was removed from life support following the May 21 incident, PEOPLE previously reported.

Clark, who grew up barrel racing with Levi's mom, Kallie Wright, says that they've been best friends for nearly 15 years and that she has been present for the couple's many milestones, including when Kallie first met rodeo star Spencer Wright and their 2018 marriage.

Related: Levi Wright's Mother Says Family Is 'Taking It Day by Day': 'This Is a Roller Coaster'

After Levi's accident, which happened as he played with his tractor outside, and the ensuing public attention, Clark's role quickly transitioned to that of a spokesperson, she says.

She shared frequent health updates on social media as the family hoped Levi would recover while helping them navigate the traumatic experience and the related medical challenges.

"It was, 'Okay. Can you handle this?' And it just went from there," Clark says.

<p>Kallie Wright with son Levi (left)</p>

Kallie Wright with son Levi (left)

Of Kallie and Spencer, she says, "They know that I'm going to be as protective of them as possible for a multitude of reasons. One, because I love them and they are my friends. But two, because with the 'celebrity status' that Spencer has, we have to be extremely sensitive to how information is shared for that."

Early on Thursday, June 6, Kallie herself spoke out for the first time after Levi's death, writing in a lengthy and vulnerable Facebook post that "I will lose sleep over this for eternity."

"Levi did not do anything he hasn't done before, but this time the water was at its peak & strong enough to push his tractor off the road into the creek as he drove through. ... [I told him] he shouldn't drive through the creek or the road and just to ride around the house. As he drove off, I ran back in the house," Kallie wrote. "That's a decision that will haunt me for the rest of my life."

Clark, who lives in Arizona, says that she and Kallie often speak in some form each day and spoke by phone the day of Levi's incident.

"The sound that came out of her mouth on the other end of the phone — I never want to hear again, ever," Clark says.

Related: Levi Wright's Mother Says 3-Year-Old Boy with Sepsis Has Become ‘Like Family’ in the Hospital

According to a May 21 statement from the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office, authorities first responded to a call about the incident around 6 p.m. The sheriff’s office said that the boy had driven his toy tractor in the river. 

“Life saving measures were administered on scene," the sheriff's office statement read, noting that Levi was transported to Beaver Valley Hospital and later airlifted to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Clark says now that the family is planning a celebration of life for Levi next week and is considering starting a foundation to help other families "once the dust settles as much as it can for losing a child."

"They just have to figure out now how to live in a world without Levi," she says.

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But Clark says she still can't believe how Levi's story has reached people around the world — in large part through the family's updates online — in addition to the support from the close-knit rodeo community.

"The reach that our little guy has had, I can't even put it into words," she says. "I have zero words for every day when we wake up and people are messaging us from New Zealand and Australia and then our friends in Uganda. It's crazy."

"It literally has been a movement," she says.

Little Levi, she says, "has just made such an impact on millions of people."

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