William Jason Lamont Bell Jr. was struck by a semi-truck wheel and rim as he helped his dad change a tire in Indiana
A 15-year-old boy was killed after a freak accident as he helped his father change a tire during a family road trip.
On Thursday, CBS affiliate WBBM-TV spoke with William Jason Lamont Bell Sr., who confirmed his son, William Jason Lamont Bell Jr., died after spending days on life support.
The teen was struck by a wheel and tire rim of a semi-truck on I-80 in Northwest Indiana earlier this month.
"He wore his heart in his face," Bell Sr. told the station.
"He’s always Baby Boy, Junior," Bell Sr. added while looking at a handful of photos of the 15-year-old.
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Bell Jr. and his family were heading to Kentucky when the vehicle they were traveling in caught a flat tire, WBBM-TV reported. "Without having to ask him, ‘I wanna help.’ He wanted to help," Bell Sr. said.
In a press release shared about the accident, Sgt. Glen Fifield of the Indiana State Police said the teen was struck by a wheel and tire rim of a semi truck on I-80 in Northwest Indiana on Aug. 15.
While Bell Sr. and his son were attempting to repair the flat, a semi operated by PDQ Trucking LLC of Mendota, Illinois, passed by, and one of its rear wheels dislodged from the truck and struck the south barrier before striking Bell Jr., the release added.
PEOPLE could not immediately reach PDQ Trucking LLC for comment.
Master Trooper Lawrence McFarrin was dispatched to the scene of the accident at around 10:30 a.m. local time, state police added. The teen was brought to a local medical facility but then transported to a hospital in Chicago and treated for "potentially life-threatening injuries."
At the time, the release said that drugs and alcohol were not believed to be a factor in the accident. However, the semi-truck driver was taken to a local hospital for toxicology tests, which authorities say are standard. The vehicle was impounded as well for a post-crash inspection to be completed.
Speaking with WBBM-TV, Bell Sr. admitted he initially did not realize his son had been struck by the tire and rim because "it happened all too fast." The father added that his faith is helping the family through the ordeal. "It is only by the grace of God that I can sit here," he shared.
"Losing my son was tragic. He is in a much, much better place that we’re trying to get to," Bell Sr. added. He said that in addition to relying on prayer, they also find comfort in knowing that Bell Jr.’s heart still beats because the teen’s vital organ was donated to someone in need.
He continued, "If he were still alive, he still would be giving of himself and what better way to give than to give part of you?"
Bell Jr. just turned 15 years old late last month. In a sweet social media post at the time, Bell Sr. wished his "firstborn son" a happy birthday.
"Though I'm a day late, help me wish him a happy birthday!!!" the overjoyed father said in the tribute. "Thanking God for this young man of God who, many of you know, is a kid magnet, has a great sense of humor, loves God, and is intrigued by the things of God, and just started working his first job with After School Matters!!!" Bell Sr. said in the July 25 Facebook post.
"I'm very proud of you son and so is God!!! Love you," Bell Sr. added.
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