ERIE (Erie News Now) – Joshua Ortiz, the ten year old who was hit and killed by an EMTA bus on December 21 in Erie, Pa. was laid to rest on Tuesday.
The funeral was at Second Baptist Church, located just a few blocks from where Ortiz was killed at East 26th Street and East Avenue.
The Erie community has supported the family by donating to a GoFundMe page, at last check over $29,000 dollars was raised.
The funeral service was small, it started at noon and lasted just over 30 minutes. Besides close friends and family, members of the Erie School District attended, Sgt. Tom Lenox from the Police Athletic League paid his respects along with the EMTA bus driver.
Pastor Lamont Higgenbottom, of Second Baptist Church said, “These types of services you never forget.”
Community members came to pay their respects to a life lost too soon.
“This is the time where we see the true spirit of Erie and how we come together in times of tragedy”, explained Pastor Higgenbottom.
This isn’t the first young child that Pastor Higgenbottom has had to bury, but he said in these times of extreme pain, coming together as a community is key to moving forward, “Pain and suffering don’t see color, it doesn’t recognize religious tradition, human suffering is what ties us all together and its in these moments that we set aside our differences and we show compassion and care”.
Pastor Higgenbottom said that a loss like this is unimaginable for anyone, especially parents. He said throughout this entire times he’s been often thinking about his own children who are around the same ages as the young boy.
Although Ortiz was laid to rest on Tuesday, here is still a long road ahead for grieving family and friends. “I think about the days ahead because it doesn’t end with this, we don’t only carry out funeral services but then we minster to those families and serve those families and coach them through the process of grief”, explained Pastor Higgenbottom.