He was involved in an accident that threw him from his vehicle into oncoming traffic, and he was run over by a car that just kept going.
“He had a great future ahead of him. He was loved by many,” said father Ricardo Henry.
“Just a beautiful soul,” said Angela Henry, the victim’s mother.
The parents of 22-year-old Elijah Knipe are looking for justice.
“Smiled all the time. Even when times were hard, very hard, he smiled, you know. He would come in the room and he was the brightest one,” said his mother.
According to Bratenahl police, just before 5:30 a.m. Saturday, Elijah was driving westbound on Interstate 90 near Eddy Road when he lost control of his pickup truck.
“They saw him drift into the median and upon striking the median, it threw the pickup truck in the air, knocked it over on its side, spun once or twice. Once it came to a stop, the bottom of the truck was facing oncoming traffic,” said his father.
As Elijah was trying to climb out of the truck, a woman driving on the interstate slammed into the truck, which propelled him onto the eastbound lanes on the other side of the highway.
According to his father, a group of guys jumped out to help, trying to stop oncoming traffic.
“They were successful for two or three cars, and then out of nowhere, a car came barreling around those cars that had come to a stop and that was the car that struck him,” said Elijah’s father.
Bratenahl police describe the vehicle as a light-colored 2013 to 2016 Ford Fusion. Elijah’s parents believe their son survived the initial accident and being tossed across the highway, but died after the car ran him over.
“Witnesses say he was still alive. That’s why they were trying to stop the traffic,” his father said.
“When I hit a squirrel or anything, I look back and I stop like, ‘what the heck?’ You know, anything like that…. so we just want to know why, why would you keep going?” said his mother.
Elijah’s parents say he was the third-youngest sibling among eight boys and a girl. They say his dream was to become a police officer.
“He was trying to work toward that, you know, working different jobs and he had an interview on Monday for a new job that he wanted to get, but the police academy was something that he really talked about all the time,” said Elijah’s mother.
The family wants the driver to take responsibility and turn themselves in.
A 53-year-old woman driving the vehicle that hit Elijah’s pickup initially was taken to the hospital in stable condition.
The family says they are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the hit-and-run driver.