by: Eric Philips Updated:
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - Friends and family are mourning the loss of an 11-year-old boy who was struck by a car and killed Thursday morning while catching his school bus.
Dozens gathered Thursday night at Warren Holder Park, where the sixth-grader played little league baseball.
“I just think that all this is a nightmare. I just wish I could be woken up,” teammate Kole Vickers said.
Thomas Conor Burch, who everyone called Conor, was trying to cross L.G. Griffin Road to get on his approaching school bus when he was struck by a minivan. He was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition, and later died from his injuries.
The Georgia State Patrol is investigating if the lights and stop arm were activated on the bus at the time of the crash.
“He always had a smile on his face, whether he struck out or hit the ball,” teammate Chandler Harris said. “If he struck out, he’d come into the dugout saying, ‘We’ll get ‘em next time.’ It just hurts me really bad to see him go. I played ball with him since I was four."
Conor’s teammates hung a banner with the No. 23 on it in center field, the position Conor played. There was a floral arrangement in the shape of an angel and candles burning in remembrance.
“Like, yesterday I was talking to my friend, and today, he’s not here, so I don’t know what to do,” friend Hunter Howard said.
“It’s kind of emotional for me, because he was really my best friend,” teammate Christopher Gardner said.
Conor’s father is a 20-year veteran with the Henry County Police Department. Officers said that makes investigating the accident even more difficult, because it hits so close to home.
No charges have been filed so far.