'Finish His Journey' celebrates life of teen killed in skateboard accident

Aug 25 2013 - 10:27pm

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Kristopher “Kit” Collins’ friends Meranda Campbell, 15, Kaitlyn Henderson, 15, and Kaleb Clark, 15, (from left) participate in the “Finish His Journey” event on Saturday.   

(KERA WILLIAMS/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Kristopher “Kit” Collins’
Kristopher “Kit” Collins’ friends Meranda Campbell, 15, Kaitlyn Henderson, 15, and Kaleb Clark, 15, (from left) participate in the “Finish His Journey” event on Saturday. 

(KERA WILLIAMS/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Kristopher “Kit” Collins’ friends Meranda Campbell, 15, Kaitlyn Henderson, 15, and Kaleb Clark, 15, (from left) participate in the “Finish His Journey” event on Saturday.   

(KERA WILLIAMS/Special to the Standard-Examiner)
Kristopher “Kit” Collins’
Kristopher “Kit” Collins’ friends Meranda Campbell, 15, Kaitlyn Henderson, 15, and Kaleb Clark, 15, (from left) participate in the “Finish His Journey” event on Saturday. 

(KERA WILLIAMS/Special to the Standard-Examiner)

HARRISVILLE -- Kit, you know now they love you, if you ever wondered.

More than 150 of Kristopher "Kit" Collins' relatives and friends turned out Saturday morning for a memorial procession on wheels for the high-flying North Ogden Junior High 15-year-old.

Wearing "Finish His Journey" wristbands, the mourners skateboarded, bicycled and scooted the 8-block route he'd planned the night he died.

Collins was killed Aug. 1 while skateboarding with a friend at 1300 N. Washington Blvd., struck by a motorist while headed to the WalMart shopping center eight blocks south.

Big sister Jenalee led the contingent out Saturday morning on roller blades, the group escorted by Harrisville police patrol cars, and including grandparents in wheelchairs, nieces and nephews in strollers, and one guy on stilts.

"Kourage" read the sign on the back of an aunt.

The wristbands also carried the acronym YOLO, for You Only Live Once, which Kit's father Marty Collins said was his motto.

"He liked to defy gravity," said Nan, his mother. "That was probably his best hobby, defying gravity."

He was training as a gymnast, and obsessed over rock-climbing, she said. "Anywhere we'd go, he'd have to climb walls."

He'd recently bought a six-foot-high ramp, she said, which he would use to launch himself into Pineview Reservoir on his BMX bicycle during family outings.

The family has Southern ties and "Finish the Ride" is a Southern tradition, Marty Collins said -- finish the journey for them. "This is mainly to help all these kids," he said, gesturing to the large showing of young teens on hand. "I hope this helps," echoed Nan. "I hope."

Marty Collins said he had to spend $350 on a $1 million liability insurance policy to get the special event permit for the procession from the Utah Department of Transportation, since Washington Boulevard is actually a state road. "One million for half an hour," he said. "Because there aren't sidewalks all along the way."

He spent several hundred more getting the 300 wristbands made. Not a burden, he said.

"When am I ever going to spend money on him again?"

Hit by a motorist in what Harrisville police ruled an accident, with no charges filed, Kit died on a Thursday, just back from a Monday-through-Wednesday Boy Scout high adventure hike organized by his North Ogden LDS ward.

"I was lucky enough to get to spend three days with Kit," said Mark Keller, ward leader of the outing of 16 Scouts to the Narrows area of Zion National Park.

"Kit was in his element. He was always at the front, scurrying off to side canyons ... he was adventurous and curious. People just wanted to be around Kit. He was fun, energetic, and caring."

 

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