BENTON, IL (KFVS) - In the past three weeks, there have been at least six serious ATV crashes in counties across the Heartland including one in Franklin County, Illinois -- Where the family
in an ATV crash is speaking out to urge riders to wear a helmet.
Like Benton's 14 year old Sergio Mendez Diaz was killed Saturday, June 20 after the riding an ATV with his uncle. The ATV crashed into a tree that had fallen from storms and was blocking the roadway.
The boys 15-year-old sister, Litzy, said the two were the best of friends. She said she'll miss her brother's smile and positive attitude.
“At first I thought it was just like, not such a big crash," Litzy said.
The siblings both attended Benton Consolidated High School.
Sergio was a cheerleader with BCHS and did gymnastics at an area gym.
“There's just so much happiness when he does it," Litzy said. I can see it in his eyes when he would tumble and cheer.”
Neither of the riders were wearing helmets. The uncle was sent to hospital and is in good condition and claimed young Sergio's life.
“He was a really caring kid," Cergio Mendez Diaz said, the boys father. "He was kind and whatever he wanted to go for -- he always succeeded at reaching his goal."
Litzy said while she'll dearly miss her brother but believes he's in a better place.
“Even if you feel like it's going to be an easy day and you wouldn't need your proper gear you should always need it just in case.”
Funeral services for Mendez Diaz are being held Thursday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m. at the Immanuel Baptist Church of Benton.