Just hours before his untimely death one week ago, two-year-old Julian Boone was having the time of his life playing at Princess Park.
The bright-eyed, blond-haired boy had his face painted to look like his favourite animal — a puppy. He was eating Smarties, attempted to climb into the fountain and strummed a guitar for the first time.
'He had a smile and a hug for everyone'
“He’d be strumming and he’d say ‘Yay!’ and clap his hands,” said Julian’s 25-year-old mother, Candice Boone. “He gave the guy a hug and he didn’t even know him … He was a happy little boy. He had a smile and a hug for everybody.”
Hundreds of people were at the park and the nearby Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skate Plaza at the time for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Skate-A-Thon.
Candice and her boyfriend of four months, Chuck Davidson, brought Julian to play in the park.
What happened just after 5 p.m. still seems like a blur to Candice.
“When he went running, I went to catch him and I didn’t quite catch him in time,” she said. “After that I don’t remember too much.”
The toddler darted out from between two parked cars on Princess Avenue and was hit by a westbound Chevrolet Equinox, driven by a 42-year-old Brandon woman. Julian was taken to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Julian’s mother, grandmother Patricia King and great-grandmother Marlene King met with the Brandon Sun on Thursday to discuss the tragedy and the little boy with the big smile.
Born Jan. 9, 2010, Julian Dean Boone was the first grandchild in the family.
“He went to Southwest Daycare and really liked it there,” Candice said. “He was starting to talk more … He started blossoming.”
Julian was your typical toddler — he loved playing with toys, especially cars and balls. He had a special green frog, a stuffed animal that he called “baby.”
On the day that he died, Candice and Julian visited great-grandmother Marlene.
“We had played hide-and-seek and he loved to run from the door to the window,” Marlene said. “He just loved to run and nobody could catch him.”
The family is heartbroken by Julian’s death. His aunt, Jennifer Boone, will never forget the first time she heard her beloved nephew call her “Aunty.”
“Last month when I went there … I walked in the door and he comes up and says ‘Hi, Aunty!’” Jennifer said, adding it still seems surreal that this tragedy has struck their family.
Jennifer is getting married in August and Julian was set to be the ring-bearer.
“He was spoiled and loved so much,” she said. “He was happy, playful and mischievous as all hell.”
He loved playing outdoors and had a special bond with the family cat, Milo.
“Every time we pulled up to the house and Milo was sitting in the window, he would yell ‘Me-o’. He absolutely loved that cat,” Jennifer said.
Candice said she knows it was a tragic accident and has already forgiven the driver who hit her son.
“There should have been something letting people know (an event) was going on,” Candice said.
The City of Brandon has since created special event signage that will be made available for events in parks or other areas where traffic is present.
“It’s sad that it took something like that to happen for them to get signs,” Candice said. “At least it won’t happen to anyone else.”
Police continue to investigate the crash and no charges have been laid.
Julian’s funeral will be held at Central United Church at 11 a.m. on Monday. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
A trust fund has been set up in Julian’s name at the Royal Bank. Candice hopes to use the funds to create a memorial for her son at Princess Park.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 30, 2012