Police have identified an 11-year-old Independence boy who died following a wreck in Independence that sent multiple people to the hospital Friday morning.
The child has been identified as Noah W. Stratton. His family is still in a state of shock.
"Nobody can understand why a little boy like that would be taken from us. He was a big part of a lot of people's lives," said Jennifer Morlan, Stratton's grandmother.
Morlan says Noah was a top-notch hugger. She and Noah's great aunt, Barbie Graham, say his affection was limitless.
"Every time he walked by me at a big family gathering, it was hugs and, 'I love you Aunt Barbie.' He was an amazing little boy and he was full of love," said Graham.
He was full of love and full of talent. Morlan and Graham say Noah was a natural at baseball.
"He was one of their pitchers and their pinch hitter," Morlan shared.
Noah's dad's girlfriend was driving a Chevy Impala with Noah and her three other children, all younger, inside.
A Chevy Silverado turned left in front of them at 10:20 a.m. at Blue Ridge Boulevard and Sterling Road.
Noah was in the front seat and not wearing a seatbelt. Morlan says he hated wearing them, but wouldn't talk about it beyond that.
"We weren't in the car. We can't answer those questions," said Graham.
"We don't know if he had it on and took it off or ... we don't know," Morlan added.
Noah's family is convinced by the sight of the wreckage that Noah would have died seat belt or not, but police say no seat belt was the primary reason for the fatality.
"I could go on forever, but it just comes down to he was the most amazing child in the world. The best 11-year-old ever," stated Morlan.
Police continue to investigate the crash.
Morlan has established a memorial fund to help the family with funeral expenses. Donations can be made at any North American Savings Bank location.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
A pet goldfish is off-the-hook and alive after a micro-surgery removes a tumor from his brain.
A World War II veteran and a preschooler, who were best buds, reunite for play date after the preschooler moved away.