ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - The Parkway School District is mourning the loss of a 6th grader hit and killed on Interstate 270 near Olive Boulevard Tuesday morning.
Family members identified the 11-year-old as Zaelynn Wiseman, a 6th grader at Northeast Middle School in Creve Coeur.
Wiseman’s biological mother, Garmeisha Terry, lives in Cape Girardeau. She said she lost custody of her son when he was 7-years-old and he lived with her aunt in Maryland Heights.
“I was going through personal things in my life where I was not stable and I wanted what was best for Zaelynn and I knew my cousin Rhonda would be the perfect step in mother for him,” Terry said. Terry described Zaelynn as funny, bright, bubbly and a joy to everyone in their family.
Terry said Zaelynn left a note Tuesday morning before running away, saying he was going to Cape Girardeau to see his dad.
“I will never be able to tell him how I sorry I am that I wasn’t able to be that mother that he deserved, for not taking them time to think about somebody besides myself,” Terry said.
His guardian, Rhonda Cox, said the two were very close and she loved him very much. Jamie Moore, a social emotional behavior specialist in the Parkway School District said she worked alongside Zaelynn as a counselor through his 3-5th grade years.
“We were very close, Zaelynn came to us with that bright smile and he is one to not know a stranger,” Moore said. “He will fill you with warmth and give you the biggest hug you need and turn anybody’s day around.”
Moore said the 11-year-old made an impact on everyone he met. She said he’ll be remembered for his infectious smile, big hugs and zest for life.
The driver who struck Zaelynn reportedly attempted to stop and stayed on the scene.
The school district said social workers, school counselors and care coordinators would be on hand to talk with students and staff.