Seven-year-old Sha’Vonta McCrorey came to the Chester City Hall on Monday night. She came because she is alive.
Sha’Vonta is alive because on Oct. 27, her brother, La’Darious Wylie, 11, pushed her out of the way of an oncoming car as the two were waiting for the school bus. Sha’Vonta was knocked aside, but the car struck La'Darious and by the next day he was dead.
Sha’Vonta, the little girl who takes dance classes, spoke in a tiny voice.
“I'm glad he saved my life," Sha'Vonta said of La'Darious. "He was a good big brother."
An older brother, Carlos Wylie, 13, spoke as only a big brother can.
"I'm proud he pushed her out of the way," Carlos said. "He saved my little sister."
The two were there because the Chester City Council heard a passionate plea from community activist Michael Halsey, who wants the Brooklyn neighborhood city park down the street from where La'Darious lived – and died, a hero – renamed the “La'Darious Wylie Park of Brooklyn."
Halsey has started a petition that meshes with thousands of social media comments about La'Darious after his heroism was first reported in The Herald on Nov. 3.
Chester, Halsey said, owes this young man whose heroic deed has touched lives all over America.
No decision was made Monday. The council heard the idea but needs at least a couple of weeks to study the idea and offers of financial support that have come in.
His heroism is now known throughout America and is inspiring people.
Hip-Hop and business celebrity Russell Simmons, followed by huge numbers on social media, used the word “Wow” to describe what La’Darious did.
La’Darious was called a hero at his funeral Thursday in Chester, but his legacy continues to grow.
“It is just incredible how many people now know what a great boy my son was,” said Elizabeth McCrorey, La’Darious’ mother.
Several city and county leaders have already expressed support.
After reading about La’Darious’ heroism in The Herald, another business from South Carolina, Palmetto State Armory, has expressed an interest in paying for the materials and manpower to rebuild the playground at the park.
An entry in Chester’s Veterans Day parade Wednesday will honor La’Darious with a giant-sized picture, and all entries are being asked to consider putting poster-sized pictures of the boy on entries. A fast-food restaurant in Chester put up a sign that says “La’Darious is our hero.”
The injuries to La’Darious’ head were so severe that he died Oct. 28. Yet La’Darious’ mother, Elizabeth McCrorey, refuses to hate the driver and donated her son’s organs so that three other children might live.
The heroism of the son and grace of the mother have become a national phenomenon.
“We in Chester, who need to celebrate the positives, should all be proud that a young man was such a hero that he would save his sister when it cost him his own life,” Halsey said. “The whole country is now paying attention to his heroism. He showed that every person can dare to be brave, and we owe it to him that he is never forgotten for his courage.”
Police say the driver of the car that hit La’Darious, Michelle Johnson, did not stop, render aid, or notify authorities that she had hit someone. Johnson was charged two days after La’Darious was hit with felony hit and run resulting in death and was later released on $25,000 bond.