BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A youth football team is mourning the death of one of their teammates after he was killed while riding his bike.
Middletown fourth-grader Cain Adkins was killed when his bicycle hit a pickup on Monday, according to a news release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The accident happened at Breiel Boulevard and Miller Road in Middletown around 4:35 p.m. on Breiel Boulevard.
The truck drove through the intersection as the bicycle continued west and hit the pickup, the news release said.
Troopers say Adkins was taken to Atrium Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
The day after Adkins' death, his coaches and teammates took to the practice field, missing No. 4.
The coaches had to break the devastating news to the players on Tuesday.
His teammates remember Adkins as someone with a great heart, a best friend, and a brother.
“He had a great heart, he was my best friend,” said Kavon Venson.
“He was like a brother to me, he was my best friend,” Leander Linville said.
“I’ve known Cain since first grade and he’s been my best friend,” said Riley Shockley.
Although it was a sad day for the team, they said Adkins was full of energy and always had a smile on his face.
“He’s a hard hitter,” said teammate Demetrius Mitchell.
“He was fun, he made everyone work hard,” Michael Spencer said of his teammate.
“He was tough, he wasn’t scared. He always played his hardest,” said Khai Hairston.
The crash remains investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol - Hamilton Post.
Adkins' teammates signed a poster to hang up in honor of their No. 4.
His No. 4 jersey will be permanently retired, according to the coaches.
A spokesperson for the Middletown City Schools District says Cain was a 4th grader at Miller Ridge Elementary School.
In a letter to parents, staff, and the community, Middletown Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles offered his support.
Styles also said he spoke with Miller Ridge Elementary Principal Kee Edwards about Cain.
“Cain was a very bright student who qualified for our G.A.T.E. Program. He loved his dog, his grandparents, his football team and his mother who was his hero. His big personality and infectious smile could take over an entire room. We ALL love and will miss Cain dearly,” Edwards said.
Styles said counselors will be available to support students, staff and parents to help them cope with Cain’s death and understand the grieving process.