LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) – The eighth-grader, who was described by his family as a bit of a klutz and a lover of the holidays, had huge plans for the summer, including riding dirt bikes with his friends.
That’s what he told one of his best friends, Brayden Radomski, before leaving Brayden’s house to walk home on March 7 and being hit by a fast automobile.
“I remember that day that it happened,” Brayden said. “It was just me and him, and we were outside and we were just talking. And we were out front of my house, and we were riding scooters up and down the street. And we were just talking and I remember him saying how he was excited for summer.”
Around 5:15 p.m., Henderson police and fire units responded. to the crash on Paradise Hills Drive, when a high-speed sports vehicle lost control, struck a curb, and proceeded onto the sidewalk, striking Patchett. At the scene, the 13-year-old was pronounced dead.
Jason Patchett, his father, was spending a typical Monday afternoon at home when he learned of the crash at Mannion Middle School.
Jason Patchett said he just knew one of his worst fears had come true when his son went missing and did not respond to his family’s calls or texts.
“It’s definitely one of those worst-case scenarios you go through, of just not knowing but knowing at the same time,” he said. “And the worst thing that could possibly happen has just happened.”
Now, nearly nine months after Rex Patchett’s death, the Henderson community is banding together to submit letters to the judge who will preside over the Jan. 23 sentence of Jose Marmolejo, the motorist determined to be at fault in the crash.
Marmolejo was traveling at roughly 90 mph, 55 mph over the statutory speed limit, when he lost control of his car on a bump in the road known in the town as “Mannion’s hump,” according to Jason Patchett. The bump has subsequently been corrected.
According to county court records, Marmolejo was charged with careless driving resulting in death and child abuse, neglect, or endangerment resulting in serious bodily damage. Impairment was not a factor.
He pled guilty in October, which, according to Jason Patchett, authorizes the court to make the minimum jail term of one to six years probationary a punishment that his family and friends believe is excessive for the offense. He is free on bail while awaiting punishment.
“This is Rex’s life,” Jason Patchett said. “He suffered the ultimate price for someone’s three minutes of fun.”
The Patchett family is asking for the community’s support in not just writing letters about their son and brother’s deaths, but also about the “larger issue” of street safety in the town, according to Jason Patchett.
Several automobiles have rushed down Henderson Road and hit the sidewalk in the same place where Rex Patchett was murdered, according to his father. Most recently, a memorial created in his son’s memory outside Mannion Middle School seemed to have been ran over by a car that hopped the curb, according to Jason Patchett.
“The fact is, it’s happening, and it continues to happen,” Jason Patchett said. “And not even the death of an individual a child is going to stop what’s going on. And so my plea, and I think the community’s plea, is that the city someone needs to do something.”
Judge Carli Kierney said more than 170 letters were filed ahead of Marmolejo’s sentence.
Though many of those writing the letters are friends or family, some are concerned community members and outsiders. First responders in the region have also helped, according to Sam Gilek, Rex Patchett’s uncle and a Henderson fireman.
“If there can be any motivation for people later on in their life, and they think about this case, or they think about wrecks or even they think about the punishment for those involved if it causes them to put their seatbelt on, or to slow down or to drive safer that’s a huge win,” Gilek said.
The messages have also served as a reminder to the Patchett family of Rex Patchett’s good influence on others, according to his father. He and his wife, Samantha Patchett, described their kid as full of life and love for his family, which included his two elder brothers and younger sister.
Jason Patchett said his son made the most of his 13 years as a nice guy and a playful youngster.
“He just wanted to make everyone laugh,” Patchett family friend and neighbor Sarah Goodsell said. “He wanted to make everyone smile, but he did it in a very quiet way.”
According to his father, Rex Patchett’s altruism is the driving force behind the letter-writing initiative. He never placed himself first, and Jason Patchett wants to reflect that by putting the community and its overall safety first.
His family isn’t focused on Marmolejo, but on something far greater, according to Jason Patchett.
“It’s not about him. It’s about my son’s life and his legacy, and how we can help … other people in this community and protect the next kid,” he said. “So they don’t get run over by some reckless driver, or some family’s getting a phone call saying, ‘Hey, are all your kids accounted for?’ ”
Credits: Las Vegas Sun
Copyright 2022 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.
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