PARKLAND, Wash. - Family and friends gathered on Saturday to honor the 13-year-old who was hit and killed crossing the street in Parkland.
The celebration of life – hoping to bring awareness and change to what loved ones and community members say is a dangerous and deadly intersection off Pacific Highway.
The crosswalk on 134th Street and Pacific Avenue in Parkland is now a constant reminder of the bright life taken too soon, Michael Weilert.
A pain felt by his parents, David and Amber Weilert, siblings and extended family, friends and classmates.
"He made every day better, he made this life better," his father said.
"We’re all just very devastated and very sorry for the family," grandmother to one of Michael’s friends, Gail Burdick said.
"Whenever I cross the walk I just got to think about him [Michael] and how we used to cross the walk every day," his best friend Karmel Thomas said.
Michael rode up to the crosswalk and did as he was taught – stopped, pushed the crosswalk button and waited for traffic to stop.
His best friend Karmel was right behind him, also crossing the street when Michael was hit by a Jeep.
"I can’t imagine anyone being able to handle this pain and I don’t want anyone to have this pain I want to make sure that Michael has a legacy and what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else," his mother, Amber said.
As of Saturday night, the light to the pedestrian crossing sign in the median is not working properly, a call to action to get things fixed is now underway.
"Like my son who was still doing something right they can still die because of some negligent driver and a negligent crosswalk," his mother said.
"I hope every person will be able to pay attention while driving down this road and look if people are crossing and watch the lights because if it happens to anyone else it’s just going to be sad for everyone else," Thomas said.
Family, friends, classmates, teachers and community members gathered to honor the 13-year-old teen.
Lighting candles, writing letters, laying down flowers and sharing stories of their favorite memories – as they fight for change.
As they remember Michael – they too battled dangerous road behavior – cars speeding past the grieving family – one more reason to keep his legacy alive.
"He knew I loved him so much and that is the one solace is that there was no doubt there's no doubt, he knew how much I loved him.
The teen's family is now advocating to push "Michael’s Law" their hopes dedicated to making crosswalks safe.
Michael will be laid to rest at the end of the month.
The funeral for Michael Weilert will be held on Saturday, July 30th @ 11am at the New Tacoma Cemetery Chapel. 9212 Chambers Creek Rd W, University Place 98467.