UPDATE: The bereaved family told News 2 Aaron Chadwick’s artwork has been returned to them thanks to a Metro police officer who was on the scene the day he died and collected his scattered drawings. The officer picked up the scattered papers because they might have been ruined by the incoming rain and then constructed and placed the memorial sign.
DONELSON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Donelson family is trying to reunite with their son’s artwork after he was tragically killed earlier this year.
On February 24th, 32-year-old Aaron Chadwick was walking near railroad tracks off Shady Grove Road when he was struck and killed by a WeGo Star train.
“We miss him,” said Gary Slattery, Aaron’s father. “He was 32, but no matter how old you are, it’s still your kid.”
Chadwick walked frequently around Donelson because he did not have a driver’s license. He loved to draw and create.
“It was the one thing that was his genius spot it was his work,” Slattery said. “He was good at it, he could just draw and it’s an art I don’t have.”
At the time of the incident, he was carrying several pieces of his original work in a backpack. The bag ripped open and several of his pieces were thrown down the tracks. His family was able to recover some and built a memorial around a cross in the days following. Something that was placed at the site a week and a half after his death told them that someone else had his art too.
A sign that read “In Memory of John Doe” with some of Aaron’s work scanned on it was placed near the spot where he lost his life. The family appreciates someone taking the time to put in the effort, but are desperate to find out who did it to get the work back.
“It was very important to Aaron and I know that he’d want the family to have it,” Slattery said.
They put out a message on social media and got some traction, but no luck so far.
The family said they hope to use all of his work to tell his story and honor his legacy. They also started the Aaron Chadwick Foundation. Aaron supported the homeless community in Donelson. The organization will spotlight artists within the community and hope to provide them with free transportation through Uber and eventually public transit.