Community bands behind Albert Lea family after boy is killed by car while riding bike

(ABC 6 News) – The Albert Lea community is banding behind one family after tragedy struck and a little boy was taken from the world too soon.

Ayden Brackey, 11, was killed after being hit by a car while riding his bike on Friday night.

Brackey spent the day fishing on the edge of Fountain Lake, doing what he loved. Fishing until his heart was content, he hopped on his bicycle and headed for home.

At the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Marshall Street, tragedy struck, and Brackey was struck by a car while crossing the street.

“Immediately, with the help of fire, they [officers] started performing life saving measures hopeful of saving a life,” said Chief Deputy Darren Hanson with the Albert Lea Police Dept.

However, first responders were unsuccessful, and Brackey died from his injuries after being taken away in an ambulance.

“The community as a whole is suffering, the officers and firefighters and paramedics that were there and the dispatchers that took the call, they struggle with this type of call because they all have kids,” said Chief Deputy Hanson.

This suffering community, now trying to help a heartbroken family in any way they can.

“We’ve had a couple customers come through here,” said the general manager of the Albert Lea Qdoba, Chad Woodall. “Anything they have, they just throw in the jar because it’s a tragic thing, you never want to lose a kid.”

Multiple restaurants around the area, including Perkins and Qdoba, have put out donation jars to raise money for the Brackeys. Many of them, knew Brackey and his family.

“He was just so upbeat, active, always in a great mood,” said Woodall.

The general manager of Perkins, Jesse Espinosa, has been a close friend of the family for years as Brackey’s mother used to work there.

“Everyone just needs to know he was a good kid,” said Espinosa.

Hundreds of dollars have already been filling the jars and both restaurants will continue raising money for the family for the rest of the week.

Woodall says many employees at Qdoba have been giving 100% of their tips to go towards the family. He says people just want the family to know they care.

A separate GoFundMe page for the family has already raised more than $17,000 to help pay for Brackey’s funeral expenses and anything else his family may need.

“It is just amazing to see how close people are and whether you talk to these people on a daily basis or not, they are here. They know of you, they know the family and they just want to help,” Espinosa said.

While Brackey may be gone, the impact this little boy made, will continue to be felt in the city of Albert Lea.

Brackey’s mother says she wants people to know he was the sweetest boy and had a heart of gold.

All she wants now is for other parents to talk to their children about traffic safety and always being safe on the road.

If you are interested in donating to the GoFundMe page, click here.