NewsRegionAnne Arundel County


12-year-old boy remembered after he was struck and killed by driver

Posted at 11:23 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 23:25:50-04

A mother somehow found the strength Monday to return to the very spot where her son died.  12-year-old Matthew Murphy was killed by a driver Sunday afternoon.

RELATED: Van strikes & kills 12-year-old in Arnold

The man who police say hit and killed Murphy is in jail without bail.  Michael Gauthier is facing manslaughter charges.

Monday night, friends, family and the community gathered for a candlelight vigil at the intersection police say he jumped a curb and hit the young boy.

Murphy's mother told the group of almost 100 that words couldn't describe how grateful she was to the community for embracing her family during such a devastating time.  She was walking with her son Matthew and Patrick when Matthew was hit.

"It’s such a tragedy, a life cut short and I just can’t imagine how their family must be coping," said parent Amy Rice.

Earlier today, some of Matthew’s friends from Magothy River Middle School planted flowers to create a living, blooming memorial to him.

"I had a good bunch of classes with him he was such a nice kid and he followed all the instructions and never broke any rules," said Jordan Sharif, one of Matthew's friends.

Sharif told WMAR2 News that she was in disbelief when she heard a man, who police reported they had to revive with two doses of Narcan, was driving the car that hit and killed her friend.

"I was literally in shock cause I didn’t know what to think because that could’ve been anyone and it was Matthew and he didn’t deserve it."

Some parents say Matthews' death is a sobering and painful reminder.

"It brings it home for us just because we did lose a son to a tragic accident and just to see the outpouring of the love and support," said mother, Vanessa Gensler.

The Murphy family was close to an Arnold shopping center at the intersection of Bay Green Drive and Andrew Hill Road—when Matthew was struck by Gauthier who police say passed out behind the wheel, still holding a glass pipe.

"It’s very scary, it’s terrifying really.  It’s unimaginable to me," Rice said.

As the days go on, the flowers will fade away, but to those left behind to grieve, Matthew’s memory will always live on.

"He was my superhero because that could’ve been anyone on the street and he did it for us and god thought he was brave enough to fly with the angels," Sharif said.

Police are waiting on toxicology results from Gauthier.  Investigators say he could face additional charges pending those tests.