DeSoto grandmother shares pain after 12-year-old grandson is killed while crossing the street

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
DeSoto Crash
Jaylen and Shaila. (Credit: Cheryl Greco)

A family and a community are heartbroken after a 12-year-old boy was hit by a car and killed. His mother, who was also hit, is fighting for her life.

Someone plowed into them while they were crossing the street in DeSoto County Saturday afternoon. The mom was also pushing a stroller, but the toddler inside was not seriously hurt.

WINK News spoke to the grandmother of the boy who was killed, who is heartbroken for herself, her daughter, and her grandchildren.

She says a truck driver ripped her family apart in an instant, and no one can put them back together again.

Balloons at a memorial near where the family was hit. (Credit: WINK News)

Balloons have been placed at the crosswalk in memory of 12-year-old Jaylen McLemore. A little boy who family and friends will miss.

“Beautiful smile, laugh, and cheery. Very helpful, super helpful. He cares about others care so much,” said Cheryl Greco, Jaylen McLemore’s grandmother.

Greco said Jaylen was crossing US-17 Saturday with his mother, Keely Powell. She was pushing his 2-year-old little sister Shaila in a stroller.

They were going to a store across the street to grab some snacks when a truck hit them and killed Jaylen. First responders airlifted Powell to a hospital in Sarasota, where she is in the intensive care unit in critical condition.

“My grandson passed away on the scene. They tried to revive him for 30 long minutes. Everybody, the whole team of people tried and tried, and he just couldn’t make it,” said Greco.

Greco has been with the children at the hospital since Saturday. She fought back the tears as she delivered this message to the truck driver. “You took my grandson from all of us. This whole family is distraught. My daughter is in the trauma ICU.”

She is now coping with the loss of her grandson and just hoping her daughter can push through.

Jamarion, Jaylen and Shaila. (Credit: Cheryl Greco)

Greco said her 2-year-old granddaughter is OK but confused. Her other grandson, 15-year-old Jamarion, was inside the family’s home, safe when the crash happened.

He’s lost his brother and best friend.

“It’s affecting him with a lot of different ways, and people may not realize it, but the siblings are really really affected brothers. He no longer has his brother,” said Greco.

Greco said her daughter was rushed into surgery when she arrived at the hospital. While her injuries are life-threatening, she said there is no brain damage, so she has hope.

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office said it is still investigating to see if the truck driver will face any charges.

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