Tyke born in Glenwood dies in Florida tragedy
A private memorial will be held Saturday in Glenwood Springs for 2-year-old Dohntae Lee Vasquez, who was born here and had been living with grandparents in Lake Wales, Florida.
Dohntae was struck by a bus while trick or treating on Halloween. The Orlando Sentinel reported that Dohntae was trick-or-treating with his grandmother, 45, their neighbor, 29, and the neighbor’s two children.
The neighbor pushed his two children and Dohntae in a stroller across State Road 27 when he realized he dropped his cell phone, Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman told the Sentinel. Vasquez’s grandmother had not yet crossed the road.
The neighbor parked the strolled on a strip of grass on the median and told the children to wait as he went to retrieve his phone.
Horstman said Dohntae ran out of the stroller and into the road, and was hit by a bus.
Dohntae’s grandmother, Angela Hoerl, said he loved super heros and was dressed as Captain America when he broke away.
“I could do nothing to stop him,” Hoerl told the Post Independent. “Every time I close my eyes I see it.”
The bus driver was not speeding or impaired, and told deputies she did not see the boy running into the street, Horstman said. She has not been charged.
Dohntae was born in Glenwood on Feb. 5, 2012. In his obituary, his family described him as “a sweet loving child, quick to laugh, his laughter filled many a heart with joy.”
Hoerl described him as “a wonderful little boy” with perfect manners, who said “thank you” instead of “trick or treat.”
“He had an impact on everybody who came in contact with,” she said. “He was pretty much everything to us – our whole world. We’re kind of lost now.”
A service has already been held in Florida, and Hoerl said the community has been very supportive, particularly Laura Donnelly of Graceful Gestures, a nonprofit in Lake Wales. Grandmother Terri Wainwright of Glenwood Springs said Graceful Gestures paid for services.
Survivors include his mother, Ashely Vasquez of Orlando, his father Mario Vasquez of Mexico, his older brother Cristian Chavez of New Castle, Hoerl and grandfather Eric Whitfield of Lake Wales; grandparents Terri and Larry Wainwright of Glenwood Springs.
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