Police weren’t even looking for the motorist whose reckless flight would lead to a crash that killed 9-year-old Aaron Cordell Shanklin-James.
Now the child’s family is seeking help in supporting funeral services for Aaron, a child they say lived fully and happily with autism, with “a smile and laugh that would brighten up one’s day.”
A page on the GoFundMe website memorializes “a handsome and gifted boy,” a wiz at math problems, “who had a very loving personality.”
Aaron was a passenger along with his grandfather, father and pregnant mother July 12 around 1 p.m. when their car was struck at the intersection of 51st Street and Woodland Avenue by a car driven by 18-year-old Kaveon C. Cottonham of Grandview.
All four of the family members were rushed to the hospital with injuries. Police reported July 14 that Aaron had died from his injuries.
Cottonham, who fled the scene of the accident, was caught after a short foot chase and was charged July 13 with four counts of second-degree assault and leaving the scene of the accident. No new charges have yet been announced.
The police patrol car that encountered Cottonham’s car was responding to an unrelated ambulance call, driving with lights and siren north on Woodland when police say Cottonham turned in front of the police car at 54th Street and sped north on Woodland.
The police car did not pursue or try to stop Cottonham’s car, police said. The police officer was soon advised about the crash scene at 51st and Woodland where Cottonham failed to escape on foot.