Enquirer Herald

Child killed in ATV wreck

HICKORY GROVE -- Keith Harris just wanted to visit his cousin and great- great-uncle.

But family members say the 7-year-old Hickory Grove boy didn't have permission to ride his four-wheeler down Scenic View Road to see his relatives.

"He's a little boy," said Keith's great- great-aunt Becky Byrum. "And little boys are gonna do stuff like that."

Keith died Monday afternoon as he was leaving Byrum's house. Around 3:40 p.m., Keith drove his four-wheeler down the driveway. He got to Scenic View Road at the same time a pulpwood truck was passing by.

The ATV collided with the tractor trailer.

Byrum said she heard the crash and looked out the window. She saw Keith lying in the road and yelled for her husband Ernest "Junior" Byrum, the man Keith called "Unc."

Ernest Byrum stayed with Keith until rescue workers arrived. Keith, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene, said York County Deputy Coroner Ev Amick. The Highway Patrol hasn't charged anyone in the crash.

"I can't understand what happened," Becky Byrum said.

Keith's death is just the latest in a string of tragedies the Hickory Grove family has endured for several years.

Byrum's son died in a car wreck in 2004. The following year, Keith's father, Boyd Reinhardt, killed his wife's stepfather and later took his own life.

Then came Keith's accident.

"This is another tragedy for us," Becky Byrum said.

Keith would have been a first-grader this fall at Hickory Grove/ Sharon Elementary School.

Becky Byrum said Keith often rode dirt bikes and four-wheelers.

"He was just all-boy," she said. "He said he loved to ride."

Keith had a reputation for being tough. When he was 4, his soccer coach called him "Bulldog" because he played so hard.

Hickory Grove/ Sharon Elementary principal Dietrich Long remembers when Keith broke his leg in a trampoline accident and had to miss school.

When he returned to kindergarten, Keith had a limp, but he didn't seem to mind.

"He never stopped smiling," Long said. "He never knew that he was in any pain."

Long remembered Keith as a little boy who loved fried bologna sandwiches.

Keith's last name became Harris a few months ago, after his mother remarried and his stepfather adopted him, Long said.

Long said counselors will be at the school this week if anyone needs to talk.

"We just saw good things in him," he said of Keith. "We're gonna miss him."