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Child with ‘gorgeous smile’ killed chasing ball into street

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- "He's an angel looking over all of us." That's how a relative chose to remember seven-year-old Tarlek Neal. The child was killed Wednesday when he ran out into the street while chasing a ball along the 2100 block of East Washington Street in Petersburg. A truck hit Neal at about 6:11 p.m. as severe storms passed through the region.

"My heart hurts," Jessie Nelder, who witnessed the accident, said. "My heart hurts for the little boy and his family and the man that hit him, just everyone involved."

Tarlek Neal

Tarlek Neal

Neal was with a group of friends headed home from a strip mall shopping center when he was killed.

"His ball went into the street and he ran out to get his ball and he got his by a truck," Nelder said.

While some witnesses called 911, others rushed to try and help the little boy.

"It was just horrible," business owner Karen Laboo said. "You know it's something you just will never forget, this is something that will always be with you."

Tarlek's cousin Rochelle Neal said little Tarlek had a gorgeous smile.

"He was loving, entertaining, he was just the life of the family," she said.

Tarlek Neal

Tarlek Neal

A vigil near the accident scene was scheduled for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. A funeral service will be held Tuesday at noon at Mount Olivet Church.