NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A vigil was held Sunday for a 71-year-old man who was killed earlier this month in a crash in South Nashville where Metro police said a 13-year-old driver was behind the wheel.
Friends and family members of David Cheatham gathered Sunday outside the O’Reilly Auto Parts on Nolensville Pike where he lost his life.
Mourners laid flowers near the spot where Metro police said the teen driver crashed into Cheatham’s vehicle as he was turning into the parking lot. Investigators say the unidentified boy had just been in a hit-and-run crash before colliding with Cheatham.
“We do hope that young man has learned from this and that other kids learn from this. If you make a mistake, it’s OK. Own up to it,” said Cheatham’s son David Q. Cheatham.
Cheatham’s children are grieving the loss of their father, but say they also feel sadness for the teenage driver and his family.
“We were blessed to have been given my father as an example to us. But someone wasn’t an example for this 13-year-old. So, we must get serious about what we’re doing in this state for our young people. It is time for us to get serious,” explained Cheatham’s daughter Dia Mimms.
The Cheatham family said while their lives are forever changed after one poor decision by a teenager without a license, they want other kids to think about how their actions can affect more than themselves.
The 13-year-old driver was charged with vehicular homicide recklessness, driving without a license and no proof of insurance. The Cheatham family plans to attend the teen’s next court date to hopefully learn why he had access to a vehicle at such a young age.