A candlelight vigil will be held tomorrow for a toddler who was killed Friday in a Pitt Meadows mall.
Riddick Servio and his mom Rowena were in a crosswalk at Meadowtown Centre when they were struck by a mini-van around 9:45 a.m. . Two-year-old Riddick was pinned under one of its wheels.
Satvinder Missan, a facility operations manager with mall operator the Onni Group of Companies, was working across the parking lot when he heard screams.
By the time he reached the scene of the accident, a large group of people had gathered around to help.
A team of men people lifted the car off the boy and the manager of a nearby Tim Horton’s attempted to revive him before paramedics arrived.
“I saw the child just near the car, people trying to console him” said Missan, as he stood at a memorial, decorated with teddy bears, balloons and cards, in the mall Monday.
“It was hard.”
Paramedics, firefighters and Ridge Meadows RCMP arrived within minutes of the crash.
Riddick was rushed to Ridge Meadows Hospital but did not survive. His mother broke a leg and will require surgery.
She has since been released from hospital but won’t have surgery until after Riddick’s funeral, which is set to take place Tuesday morning.
In a statement issued by Jeff Bloom, Riddick’s grandfather, the family thanked first responders, police and bystanders who helped immediately after the accident.
“My daughter wants me to let everyone who stopped… the manager at Tim Horton’s who did CPR on her son, the woman who sat and held her until the ambulance came, the team of men who lifted the van off her son, the man who dumped his motorcycle and ran limping to help, if she saw you she remembers you vividly. She needs you to know that. She will never forget you.”
Bloom also thanked the people who have posted messages online for their kind words.
Riddick was vibrant, intelligent, teasing, loving, and everything you could ever want in a son and grandson, said Bloom.
He wrestled with his five-year-old sister and loved to pretend he was a dinosaur so he could “scare” his mother, sister, and father.
He played tag with his Nana, and had just learned to stand and balance on granpa”s hands when he held him over his head.
“He was so proud he was able to do something scary that his sister was able to do,” wrote Bloom.
Riddick also loved working in his boots with his shovel in the garden with his “Vovo” and Grandpa. His dad took him to the zoo on his days off, and his mother was teaching him how to cook.
They were going to Tim Horton’s to get Riddick a drink, one of his favourite things to do, when they were hit by the mini-van.
“That ripped our lives apart, ours and many others, including the poor unfortunate woman behind the wheel of the van. None of us will ever be the same,” Bloom said.
On Monday, Sandy Hart, a daycare worker who had cared for Riddick since he was 11 months old, mourned at the growing memorial in Meadowtown Centre.
He loved trains and Mickey Mouse, she said.
“He would not go to bed without Mickey Mouse,” recalled Hart, who took a Minnie Mouse to Riddick’s family on Sunday.
“So he is going to have Mickey and Minnie in his coffin,” she explains.
Stop, Train, Stop! was one of Riddick’s favourite books.
“It’s hard for me,” said Hart, wondering how the little boy’s family is going to cope.
“I don’t know how they are going to do it. How they are going to go on?”
The family were supposed to leave for Disneyland on Dec. 1.
Hart said the family still plans on keeping that promise.
“As soon as everything’s back to normal …they’re all going to go and celebrate Riddick as a huge family,” she said.
• A candlelight vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow – Tuesday, Nov. 26 – at Memorial Peace Park, 11900 224th Street in Maple Ridge. Organizers request that people bring a candle and a new, unwrapped, toy in Riddick’s memory which will be donated to a charity.
A fund to support the Servio family has been set up at gofundme.com. The goal was to raise $500, a gesture to buy the couple catered meals as they grieve. Within six hours the goal had been tripled, as donations of $20, $50 and $100 came in, and as of Monday evening it surpassed at $5,578.
– with files from Colleen Flanagan