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TOOELE — A family friend and a Chili's manager teamed up to create a fundraiser* for the family of a boy killed in a garbage truck accident.
Giacomo Riley Kelly, 5, was hit and killed during an auto-pedestrian accident on June 6. Giacomo was riding his bicycle near 680 W. McKeller Street in Tooele around 1:45 p.m., according to Tooele police. Police said that children in the neighborhood would often follow the garbage truck while riding their bikes.
Police said Giacomo and his sister were riding their bicycles on the sidewalk parallel to the garbage truck. The truck turned right at an intersection and the boy continued riding straight and hit the side of the truck. He was pulled under the rear tires of the truck and was killed, police said.
Close family friend and soccer coach of Giacomo, Annie Culley, said she was in Oregon when the accident happened. She said she was devastated by the news and not being able to do anything.
"I was feeling pretty helpless because I was out of state and couldn't be there to support the family," Culley said. "And so I just got on one of the online fund pages and started a fund."
Culley said one of her friends shared the fundraiser on Facebook, where Chili's manager Erick Sorensen saw the link and decided to join the cause. Culley said Sorensen is the district manager of the Chili's on Parrish Lane in Centerville and he decided to contact her to use the fundraiser as one of Chili's Give Back initiatives.
Chili's restaurants throughout Utah will donate 15 percent of their sales made in Giacomo's name Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
"I know whatever donations are given to them will help them so much," Culley said. "They are really really good people."
Culley said Giacomo would have turned 6 years old on Father's Day. She got together with his family Sunday and they released balloons in his honor. She said he was a happy boy who was friends with everyone, and he had a dream to become a professional soccer player.
"He was an amazing little boy," she said. "He always had the biggest smile ever. And he was so fast. He was so, so talented. He was just really good. He was a friend to everyone. I never saw him be mean to anyone."
Giacomo's parents, Darlene and Nate Kelly, released a statement about their son:
"We just want people to know that he was such a happy boy. And that he is our valiant servant of the Lord. We love him and we know he lives. We thank everyone for their support and prayers. We had lots of people reach out to us and we are grateful to everyone. We love our boy and we know we will see him again someday."