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March 26, 2014

Young skateboarder hit by minivan is still in the hospital

A 6-year-old boy injured when a minivan struck him and a friend while they skateboarded Saturday in Kansas City, North, has improved to good condition, family members said. Jesus Gonzalez, who goes by Chuy, is recuperating at Children’s Mercy Hospital. His friend Jordan Hale, 9, died.

A 6-year-old boy injured when a minivan struck him and a friend while they skateboarded Saturday in Kansas City, North, has improved to good condition, family members said Wednesday.

Jesus Gonzalez, who goes by Chuy, is recuperating at Children’s Mercy Hospital. His friend Jordan Hale, 9, died.

Two hours after Jesus’ family released information on his condition, the driver who struck the boys gave a brief statement at a Northland police station.

Tammy Linam sobbed as she spoke.

“I’ve spent my entire life helping people and trying to care for children,” the Kansas City, North, resident said. “Now I find myself in what would be every parent’s nightmare. I want the families of Jordan and Jesus to know that they are on my mind and their families are in my prayers for the rest of my life.

“I really can’t discuss what happened other than to say this was a horrible accident. Lives have been changed, and they are never going to be the same again.

“And that is all I am able to say.”

Linam, who has two children who are autistic, did not take questions. No charges have been filed in the case. The accident remains under investigation.

The boys were skateboarding on Northeast Winn Road and North Bellefontaine Avenue near the Walnut Grove Apartments when the minivan struck them. Linam was westbound on Winn when the two children came down a hill from a parking lot on the north.

On Wednesday, relatives said there are no immediate plans for Jesus to be released from the hospital.

“Chuy is surrounded by family and friends who are concerned but hopeful that he will recover,” family members said in a written statement. They also extended their condolences to Jordan’s family.

“He was loved and admired by Chuy and his family,” the statement said. “He will be missed.”

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