EAGAN, Minn. (FOX 9) - A boy who died last week in Eagan, Minnesota after his bike was hit by a car was laid to rest on Friday.
Thirteen-year-old Patric Vitek was biking to school on Friday, November 1, which also sadly was his birthday, when his bike was hit on Diffley Road, just across from the school.
In the week since his death, touching tributes have been paid to Patric. Last Saturday, the Gophers hockey team wore patches to honor Patric, who himself was a young hockey player.
On Sunday, the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River was lit up in blue and green -- the colors of Patric's youth hockey team.
Friday, family, friends, and members of the community gathered to remember Patric.
This photo shows the sticker on a helmet that will be worn in Saturday's game. (Gophers Hockey / Supplied)
Under the grey and cold of a solemn November day, a steady stream of the bright blue and green of Eagan filed into Saint Thomas Becket Catholic Church to say goodbye to Patric Vitek.
Patric’s teammates on his hockey team were wearing their home whites. Patric’s uncle Chris Vitek told the more than a thousand mourners inside it was very obvious Patric loved hockey and hockey loved him back.
Noting the outpouring from teams across the country and the fact the Gophers paid tribute on their helmets already last Saturday, his uncle Joe Lynch talked of Patric’s mastery of water and snow skiing, calling him “determined and fearless.”
The accident on Diffley Road that claimed his life is still under investigation, and reconstruction will likely take months. But part of Patric’s legacy may be the safety improvements, long discussed and demanded for Diffley Road, finally coming to fruition.
On Saturday, County Commissioner Joe Atkins is hosting a previously scheduled town hall and knows Diffley could dominate the discussion.
He told FOX 9 he hopes the county and city can come up with options by mid-December.