'Brings the kids together.' Apex community mourns loss of 10-year-old killed in scooter accident

Cindy Bae Image
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Apex boy on scooter dies after being hit by a driver
Apex police are still investigating after a 10-year-old boy was hit by a driver while riding a scooter on Woodell Crest Drive on Memorial Day.

Many hours have passed and the pain is still fresh in an Apex community after the death of a 10-year-old boy who was hit by a driver while riding a scooter on Woodell Crest Drive on Monday.

"She's still shocked," Arun Dhama said. "She can't take the fact that she doesn't have a friend anymore. He's one person who brings all the kids together, play outdoors."

Dhama said his daughter was outside playing with Ayaan Vachery when it happened. Vachery was a fourth-grade student at Combs Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh.

"We're just praying for them, for the parents to be strong," Dhama said. "It's not easy to lose a son that age."

While support was available for students at the elementary school, Apex Mayor Jacques Gilbert called on the entire community to pray for all of those impacted by Monday's incident.

"I visited with neighborhood community members yesterday evening to offer my condolences and support, and it is apparent that there are many concerns and questions," Gilbert said in a statement on Tuesday. "Additional information requests surrounding traffic safety concerns are being researched and will be provided accordingly."

Apex Police said they couldn't locate any speeding complaints specific to the Woodall Estates neighborhood, nor is there any record of a traffic calming request from the neighborhood, which typically beings the process for studying a street for speed bumps.

The investigation is ongoing, including more details about the driver, what type of scooter was involved and whether or not the child was wearing a helmet.

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Meanwhile, the green markers on Woodall Crest Drive is a harrowing visual reminder of safety.

"If (kids biking, outdoor activities) is also not safe, what else can kids do?" Dhama said. "Number one thing immediately, some road blockages. Speed bumps, some kind of speed-reducing tools. Then having some marks that say no parking on that side of the street because if you notice, it's creating some kind of blind spot."

Dhama said with more homes being built by the neighborhood, another concern is more cars on the street.

Neighbors said they plan to be at the next town council meeting on June 13th to discuss traffic safety.

WATCH | Scooter crashes increase in North Carolina

Over the past few years, electric scooter companies have increased and become popular options for people looking to get across town fast and easily.