9-year-old boy in remission from leukemia killed after crawling beneath school bus to retrieve ball

“He was the life of the party,” said the boy's cousin.

January 18, 2024, 3:37 AM

Over a hundred people came together for a candlelight vigil after 9-year-old Elyas Amyr Marshall-Rodriguez was killed after crawling under an Orange County school bus earlier this week.

Witnesses told affiliate ABC News’ Orlando affiliate WFTV that the 9-year-old boy got off the bus Tuesday afternoon and, as he was walking away from the bus, he dropped his football when he crawled under the bus to get it and the vehicle began moving.

Marshall-Rodriguez was in remission for leukemia when he was killed on Tuesday after being diagnosed at two-years-old, according to his family who spoke at his vigil.

“He was the life of the party,” said Trenae Gayle, Elyas’ cousin. “He loved football, he loved basketball, he loved all sports.”

Principal Erin Willis of Lawton Chiles Elementary, the school that Marshall-Rodriguez attended, issued a statement on social media following his death.

“I know I speak for our entire community when I express the terrible grief we are all feeling. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they go through this extremely difficult time,” Willis said. “We will have grief counselors on campus … for as long as we need them for any student or staff member who needs to speak with someone. Please keep our students and staff in your thoughts at this very difficult time. Thank you for your support.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and the investigation is currently ongoing.