GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The mother of a Grand Rapids toddler who was killed by a pickup truck Monday night is remembering her son who never left her side.
Marlene Rodriguez, the mother of 2-year-old Javonni Conley, spoke with 24 Hour News 8 Tuesday. She was surrounded by family all day as they try to comfort her in her time of grief. Rodriguez remembers a toddler who would follow his mother around whenever she went.
"He went so many places with me. He'd always be with me. He'd say 'Mommy, I go with you; I go with you Mommy'". Rodriguez said.
On Monday night, Conley was struck by a pickup truck after running into the street after a ball in the 200 block of Spencer Street. Javonni's stepfather, Dierre Coteat, saw the accident and allegedly stabbed the driver of the pickup truck.
The man stabbed is still in the hospital and is expected to be okay.
Rodriguez is concerned that Coteat, who had a close relationship with Javonni, will likely have to miss his funeral.
"They really bonded. He'd watch him while I went to work; they had a really close bond," Rodriguez said. "It's one thing to have the situation happen, but the fact that he can't be here is really getting to him."
Coteat is expected to be charged sometime this week. He remains in lockup at the Kent County Jail awaiting formal charges.
"This has just been a really big, really bad nightmare for all of us," Rodriguez said.
Family members have finalized funeral arrangements for Jovanni. Services will be on Friday at 10 a.m at the City Hope Church in Grand Rapids on Jefferson.
Javonni's family has set up a memorial fund at My Personal Credit Union under Javonni's name.
The family says donations can also be made directly to Gillespie Funeral Home, which is handling funeral arrangements.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Michigan authorities say at least 20 wolves have been killed in the Upper Peninsula during the state's first wolf hunt in decades.