WINDSOR, Colo. -- The family of an 8-year-old boy who was tragically killed in an accident at the Windsor Harvest Festival Parade earlier this week is speaking publicly for the first time.
The parents of 8-year-old Brycen Zerby said in an emotional video statement obtained by Denver7 Thursday evening that they're thankful for the outpouring of love and support the family has received from people across the state, the nation, and the world.
"We all saw and heard things that cannot be unseen, and we want to acknowledge the hurt that this entire community is working to overcome," Jimmy Zerby said, his voice breaking as tears filled his eyes.
In the video, Jimmy remembered Brycen as "the best of boys, brothers, sons and friends," as he spoke of the boy's joy to serve in the community through their church.
"Brycen would not want his departure of our world to represent so much pain," Jimmy said in the video, asking those who have been impacted by his death "to serve each other with unselfish hearts, be generous beyond reason, play as hard as you can, hold the door open at every opportunity, and seek Jesus with the faith of a child."
You can watch the family's statement in the player above, or read the full text below:
I would like to begin by thanking this community, the State of Colorado, and the people of this amazing nation for the outpouring of love and support we have received. The messages, gifts, and memorial items have blessed and warmed our hearts. I would also like to directly thank all the first responders, hospital staff and doctors, our church family at Generations, Clear Water Products, and our family and friends throughout the world who have done everything they could to help us work through the terrible events of the last several days.
For those in the community that were present at the accident, we know you share in the horror and the pain of the events from Monday morning. We all saw and heard things that cannot be unseen, and we want to acknowledge the hurt that this entire community is working to overcome.
But what we want to communicate most of all is that in the midst of the worst days of our lives, the overwhelming presence of God has been carrying us through. Brycen was the best of boys, brothers, sons and friends. He loved Jesus and found joy in generously serving our savior. Our sweet boy woke up so excited on Monday to serve with our church in the parade, inviting people to hear the Good News. And we find unrelenting hope in the fact that while we were fighting to save our baby boy from this horrendous accident, he was bathed in the glory of God as he met his Savior and creator face-to-face. He was a baptized believer of the one true King and we stand firm on the promise that we will see our sweet Brycen boy again.
Thank you all again for your support of our family during this time. Brycen would not want his departure of our world to represent so much pain. So in memory of his character please serve each other with unselfish hearts, be generous beyond reason, play as hard as you can, hold the door open at every opportunity, and seek Jesus with the faith of a child. God Bless.
Brycen Zerby died Monday after he tripped while walking during the Windsor Harvest Festival Parade on Labor Day. Police said he was run over by a float for the church the family attends.
A candlelight vigil took place Wednesday evening at Eastman Park in Windsor, where more than 100 people came together to remember Zerby's life.
Funeral services for Zerby will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday at Generations Church, located at 3600 W. 22nd St. in Greeley, with a brief reception to follow. A brief graveside service will be held the next day in Canon City.
The church says Brycen was such a big Denver Broncos fan, they’re asking anyone who attends to wear blue and orange in his honor.
A GoFundMe page set up by Clear Water Products, where Brycen’s father Jimmy works, had already brought in more than $75,205 as of Thursday evening — more than triple the $25,000 goal. The church is asking anyone who wishes to support the family to donate to the fundraiser.