13-Year-Old Boy Fatally Struck by Vehicle Remembered as ‘Caring Soul’ Who ‘Loved His Family’

"He was a gentle, kind, and caring, soul who loved his family," Alex Mackiewicz's aunt wrote in a GoFundMe campaign

<p>GoFundMe</p> Alex Mackiewicz, the 13-year-old old boy struck by a van


Alex Mackiewicz, the 13-year-old old boy struck by a van
  • The "automobile-vs.-pedestrian" accident occurred Wednesday in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, said authorities

  • The victim, later identified as Alex Mackiewicz, was heading for Mountain Ridge Middle School when he was hit by a van as he crossed the intersection, wrote his aunt in a GoFundMe

  • A candlelight vigil was held for Alex the day after the accident

A 13-year-old boy was on his way to school when he was fatally struck by a vehicle on a Colorado road, according to the victim’s aunt. 

In a Facebook post Wednesday morning, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the "automobile-vs.-pedestrian" accident occurred at Venneford Ranch Road and Highlands Ranch Parkway in Highlands Ranch, resulting in a traffic closure.

“DCSO Traffic Team is now conducting a fatal traffic crash investigation,” the sheriff’s office wrote in an update. “It is confirmed that the pedestrian is deceased. The driver stayed on the scene.”

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A Douglas County Sheriff’s Office representative told PEOPLE in an email Friday that no further details have been released and investigators are still working on the case.

The victim was later identified as Alex Mackiewicz by his aunt Wendy Cegielski in a GoFundMe campaign. According to the fundraiser's description, Alex was heading for Mountain Ridge Middle School when he was hit by a van as he crossed the intersection.

Related: Teen Dies After Car Crash While Heading Home from Work: ‘Wasn’t Much More They Could Do,’ Says Dad

"Alex journeyed to school that day brimming with the excitement and anticipation of his first baseball practice of the season,” Cegielski wrote.

She added, “Alex loved baseball and was a great athlete, proudly batting and pitching lefty. Alex was not just a son, brother, and friend but a light in the lives of all who knew him. He was a gentle, kind, and caring soul who loved his family. In his passing, we are reminded of the fragility of life and the importance of community support.”

A candlelight vigil was held for Alex Thursday night at the intersection in Highlands Ranch where he was killed, ABC affiliate KMGH reported.

Related: 14-Year-Old Driver Killed, 3 Other Kids Seriously Injured When Speeding Car Crashes Into Trees

“He made me a better father and a better person,” Alex's stepdad, Owen Cegielski, said, per NBC affiliate KUSA. “I couldn’t have asked for a better son in my life and I’m going to truly miss him. And this is all dedicated for him and I wanted to thank you all and the community for reaching out to us and helping us."

Alex’s friends also paid tribute, with Elijah Storie telling Fox affiliate KDVR that “he was kind, nice and funny.”  Shawn Judd, a classmate, said Alex “was a very funny kid, always respectful … very kind and giving.”

Related: High School Senior Dies in Crash After Hitting Tree During Lunch Break: 'Tragic End to a Beautiful Soul'

Alex's aunt, meanwhile, wrote in the GoFundMe that his family is now facing financial hurdles — including a funeral and other related expenses — following the boy’s death.

She concluded, by writing: “Thank you to all who have been contributing to the roadside memorial in his honor. It is a testament to how well-loved Alex was by his family, this community, and his schoolmates.”

PEOPLE reached out to Wendy Cegielski for additional comment.

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