Candlelight vigil for 12-year-old killed in fatal Norfolk vehicle-pedestrian crash

Posted at 8:56 PM, Sep 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-29 22:56:00-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A candlelight vigil was held for the 12-year-old boy who was hit by a truck while riding his bike from the library.

Police said Gregory Bateman Jr. was killed at the intersection of Princess Anne Road and Majestic Avenue near Campostella Elementary just before 5 p.m on September 21.

The young boy's mother, Tyeicia Bateman told News 3's Aleah Hordges that Gregory was her oldest son. She was seen embracing his memorial at the spot where he took his last breath, and maintained a positive spirit during the vigil.

"It was five kids out here when my son got hit. Five of his friends, so I said I'm going to do something for them and for Greg too at the same time," Bateman said. "It's a celebration you know he may be gone, but he's not forgotten. He's resting in heaven, not in peace but in heaven."

Family and friends gathered around for prayer and later tied more balloons around the phone pole for all drivers to see.

Police said Gregory Bateman Jr. died on scene after the accident.

"You know my stomach dropped just dropped to the bottom of my back I didn't know what else to do, but all I can do is just say 'thank you God thank you Lord he didn't suffer' they say he died on impact and he didn't suffer," the grieving mother said.

Police have not charged the truck driver as the crash remains under investigation.

Meanwhile, the community is demanding the city to install a traffic light on Princess Anne Road called "Greg's Light."

There's an online petition with more than 2,000 signatures.

Bateman added, "There should be one at every school and we should have bumps. You don't want to damage your car, but you'll hit a child. Speed bumps. Every if Norfolk police aren't patrolling; speed bumps."

She said sadly a traffic light wasn't in place to help her son, but it could save the next child.

"You know I feel sad that I lost my son, but I'm grateful for what I'm about to gain I'm going to have peace and my son is going to love this. He really is," Gregory's mother mentioned.

Family and friends will present the petition to the Norfolk City Council meeting on October 1 at 7 p.m.