OMAHA, Neb. – Jalen Duncan was walking home after school Monday afternoon, but he never made it home.
The 8-year-old was playing with a small group of children in Omaha, Nebraska when he was hit by a car.
For Ashley Jones, the pain is almost too much to bear. Ashley made it to 45th and Grover minutes after her son, Jalen, was hit by the car.
“I looked at him, and I said, baby, don’t leave me,” she said. “He looked at me, and I watched him take his last breath in front of me.”
Jalen had just started the third grade. His mom said he loved to dance and he loved to sing.
“He loved church,” Ashley said. “He used to always say, ‘Mommy, you’re my pretty girl,’ and he’d always give me kisses, and hug me and he helped me out a lot cause, in 2015, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.”
Ashley said her children became their mother’s helpers and, now, she is missing one.
Ashley also said she feels for the driver of the car that hit and killed her son.
“God had a plan and, instead of me hating whoever hit my baby, I just prayed,” she said.
Orange spray paint markings left by police investigators on Grover Street are a reminder of what happened there.
Heather Cashero lives across the street from where the accident happened. She saw the little boy laying in the road.
“I was balling,” she said. “His mom was across the street wailing. Obviously, she wanted her son to be okay. It was horrible. I was crying. I came in and got my kids, and I hugged them.”
Heather said, with a school right up the street, there are a lot of children playing around there on their way home. Heather said the traffic can get bad.
“Constantly back and forth,” she said. “People go very fast on this road. We don’t let our daughter play out here, because she’s 6. She doesn’t know how to ride a bike, because we don’t have anywhere to teach her. It’s too scary with how fast people go on the road.”
Heather said she would like to see more signs in the area warning motorists that children are in the area.
As for Ashley, she never thought she would have to bury her son.
“I never imagined getting life insurance on my baby,” she said. “I have life insurance on myself. I never imagined I would lose my baby.”
There is a fund set up to help bury the boy. The Jalen Duncan Fund is now active at First National Bank in the name of Guy Jones who is Jalen’s uncle.