A 12-year-old boy in Dallas, Texas, was struck and killed by a driver while collecting money for his track team over the weekend. 

Rickie Tave was trying to cross the street near the Central Oak Cliff area of Dallas when he was hit by a car around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6, police said. The boy was soliciting donations for a the Oak Cliff Missiles Track Team along Ledbetter Drive where it intersects with Vista Wood Boulevard.

Witnesses verified the police report that the boy stepped off the curb when he was hit, but also said that the driver ran a red light at the corner, which caused the accident.

Jastasia King, 26, was behind the wheel of the Nissan that struck Rickie, police said. She initially stopped to check on the boy, but then got back in the car and left the scene. Her attorney said she left because the crowd at the scene were verbally and physically assaulting her. She’s charged with failure to stop and render aid. Records show she had a prior arrest for drug possession.

Rickie Tave’s mother, Zenovia Thompson, talked about her middle child through her pain:

“He was starting for football at McCowan Middle School this year,” Thompson said. He wanted to run track. Pick up his endurance to be a better football player because that was his passion.”

Parent Alicia Finley said the Oak Cliff Missiles have 32 members. She said other parents are still in shock witnessing what happened.

Finley said the team tried to raise the fund to pay for a trip to College Station later this month for a state track meet. They had tried other fundraising methods like popcorn sales, but collecting money at the corner near a Walmart was much more effective. 

After the hit-and-run death, critics on Monday questioned the practice of allowing children to raise funds on Dallas roadways.

Darryl Blair, the publisher of the Elite News community newspaper, said he has crusaded against children panhandling in the street and was speaking with a city council member about getting this ordinance enforced and having something done about children in the right of way, in the roadway. 

“It’s begging. It’s panhandling. That’s not fundraising,” Blair said. “Fundraising is selling cakes, car washing, going cutting yards in the neighborhood, doing something where there’s an exchange, where kids feel that they’ve honestly earned it.”

“There are other ways to get money and the community needs to make contributions to these programs,” he said.

Dallas has a law against panhandling on streets where safety is an issue, but a pending lawsuit has affected enforcement, said Dallas Police Sgt. Warren Mitchell.

Ricky’s funeral is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Eternal Rest Funeral Home in DeSoto.

A candlelight vigil and balloon release is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Saturday honoring Ricky’s life at McCowan Middle School in DeSoto.