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Highway accident cuts short life of promising Lenexa teenager

Updated: 2013-06-24T13:19:30Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Daniel Crapo thought his son Ezkial, 13, was spending Saturday night with a friend in their Lenexa neighborhood.

He learned the truth when another friend’s mother called about 9:15 p.m. Saturday and said her son, another boy and Ezkial had gotten into some trouble and that troopers were bringing them to her house. Confused, he stayed on the phone with the mother until a trooper’s car pulled into her driveway.

Two boys stepped out of the car, she told Crapo, and Ezkial was not one of them.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m so sorry.”

Crapo later found out his oldest son — an athletic, articulate and talented Westridge middle schooler — had been struck and killed while running across Interstate 35 with two friends after a trip to Wal-Mart. They made it across the northbound lanes and over the concrete median. A pickup truck hit Ezkial in the southbound lanes.

The driver couldn’t stop in time, troopers said.

Troopers delivered Ezkial’s shoes and cellphone to Crapo on Sunday and provided a brief update on their investigation. Although early reports suggested Ezkial may have been on the shoulder when he was hit, troopers said the point of impact was in the traffic lane.

The accident devastated relatives and slammed the door on a promising future, Crapo said. He said his son excelled at baseball and football and wrapped up a production in May as the lead villain in the play “Oklahoma!” He also was writing and recording rap music with his friends.

“He could have done anything,” his father said. “He was so smart and so articulate.”

His grandmother Linda Cochran said he was ranked at the top of his class.

“I laid awake last night,” she said, “thinking about all of the things he could have been.”

By Sunday night, more than 850 people had joined memorial Facebook pages to honor Ezkial.

Ezkial had never been in real trouble before, Crapo said. But on Saturday, he misled relatives about where he was going to spend the night because he was not supposed to be with one of the friends he ended up trying to cross the highway with, Crapo said.

“He wanted to please everybody all the time,” Crapo said. “He made a bad decision and it cost him his life.”

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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