SCOTT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — There is an outpouring of support for the family of the little boy who was killed after falling into an animal exhibit over the weekend at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
Even strangers showed up at the Slater Funeral Home in Scott Township Thursday to pay their respects and honor the family’s wishes of donating a toy truck in the memory of Maddox Derkosh.
“He’s just so darling. It’s just such a sad day,” said Sue Schwartz, of Green Tree.
KDKA’s Paul Martino reports:
The story of little Maddox Derkosh’s untimely death has brought together an outpouring of love, concern, and of all things, toy construction trucks.
“When I first heard about it, it was just awful,” said Jean McAleavey, of Green Tree. “I couldn’t imagine a family going through that. And we wanted to show our support, wanted to come out and give them support.”
Maddox died on Sunday after a fall at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium while looking at the African Painted Dogs exhibit.
His family requested in lieu of flowers that donations of toy trucks be made in his memory. Trucks to be donated to children’s charities; and the donations are now arriving by the thousands.
“We work at Port Authority, and everyone donated and we’re just dropping it off,” said Julie Leister, of Whitehall.
“I saw the story on the Internet, and I saw it last night, and I knew I didn’t have time to get everyone together; but I figured this has been all over the news, everyone feels horrible for the family so we wanted to do what we could, and in the short amount of time, I think we did pretty well,” Tony Caporuscio, of the Port Authority, said.
The trucks will be collected on Friday onto one large construction truck, and will become part of the procession for Maddox’s funeral, all for the little boy whose life has touched so many.
“I think it’s touched everyone, not just parents; everyone just feels so horrible for the little boy,” added Caporuscio.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland reports:
Visitation ended Thursday evening, but toy truck donations can be brought to Maddox’s funeral on Friday, which will be held at St. Bernard’s Church in Green Tree.
As of Thursday evening, more than 3,000 toy trucks had been donated in memory of little Maddox. And calls were coming in from as far away as California, Arizona and Canada on how to send in donations.
There is no deadline. If you would like to donate a toy, you can send it to the Slater Funeral Home.