ROANE COUNTY - Just days after 12-year-old Jacob Patterson was hit and killed by a motorcycle in front of his home, his loved ones are still trying to comprehend the accident that led to his death.
"I didn't know what happened. I saw all the cars start to slow down and then I ran over there," said Johnny Hackworth, Jacob's neighbor.
Hackworth watched Jacob grow up, and enjoyed seeing the boy go to and from school every day.
"I'll miss just seeing him every day. When he'd get home he'd just run all the way up that hill until he couldn't run anymore," said Hackworth.
Hackworth is friends with Jacob's grandparents, who are his primary caregivers.
"He couldn't walk out of a room without telling his grandparents he loved them. He was a sweet boy, a loving boy. His grandparents adored him and he adored them," said Hackworth.
Hackworth says Jacob was, among all those other traits, a careful preteen.
"That boy always looked up the road down the road and if there was one in sight he'd stand right there. I know because I saw him every day," said Hackworth.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Patterson got off the school bus on Old Harriman Highway around 3:45 p.m. Another school bus and a vehicle were stopped on the other side of the road.
After the two buses passed, Patterson ran across the road to check the mail and was hit by the motorcycle driven by a 16-year-old boy, according to THP.
The motorcycle came to an "uncontrolled stop" in the shoulder of the road, THP said.
The 16-year-old on the motorcycle was taken to the hospital. THP is not releasing the motorcycle operator's identity because they are a juvenile.
THP says the District Attorney's office will determine if any charges will be made against the juvenile.
The incident is still under investigation, and the planning to lay Jacob to rest is off to a slow start.
"They are just so distraught it's hard for them to do," said Kirk Gouge, the general manager at Premier Sharp Funeral Home in Oliver Springs.
Jacob's funeral is planned for Thursday, which is a longer than usual period of time from death to burial.
"Jacob's 13th birthday would've been Wednesday, so they didn't want to bury him until after that," said Gouge.
Gouge and his staff are expecting large crowds at the services.
"Our phone has been ringing off the hook. People are calling or texting me just asking how they can help and when they can come down," said Gouge.
For Jacob's funeral details and his obituary, click here.
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