LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) - A witness was so upset by a horrific accident he actually chased a suspected hit and run driver and then drove him back to the scene where a young bicyclist was killed.
Not even 24 hours after 14-year-old Bryce Buchholz was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver, over 100 of his friends and classmates flocked to the scene on Lake Avenue - many still in disbelief.
Shyanna Ling said, "My stomach kind of sank. And I was like, 'Okay. He'll be in the hospital.' Thinking to myself, 'He'll be okay, he'll pull through it; he's a strong kid. He can make it.' And not even five seconds later, I found out that he passed."
Buchholz and a couple friends were riding their bikes home from a school concert, when police say Buchholz was struck by 23-year-old Michael Ettipio. Ettipio sped off, but Benny Kirkland, who witnessed the accident, followed him home.
"I grabbed him by the shirt, and I put him in my car. We seen all the sirens, and I looked back and said to him, 'You see what you created?" And at that time is when he realized what he had done. He just said, 'Did I actually, really kill the kid?' And I said, 'Yeah.' And at that moment, there was just complete silence in the car,' said Kirkland.
Shell-shocked teens milled about Buchholz's memorial on Friday. Some cried. Some prayed. All they can do is cling to each other, and to the memories of their friend.
Erica Stoeckl said, "If you were in a bad mood, he can make you laugh in a second. He was just, like, a jokester."
Sydney Ford added, "Not a lot of people can make people happy. But he made people happy. He'd put a smile on everybody's face; going down the hall, singing Justin Bieber songs."
Grief counselors will be back at Lancaster Middle School next week. Michael Ettipio has been charged with manslaughter, DWI, leaving the scene and failure to keep right.
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