The Kentucky Wildcats community mourns the tragic loss of young fan Marco Lee Shemwell.
The four-year-old boy died Monday at UK Healthcare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital after being struck by a car driven by an alleged drunk driver during Kentucky’s football game on Saturday, according to the university per Kentucky.com.
At around 2 p.m. on Saturday, the child was hit while he and his family were waiting to cross Cooper Drive near Scoville Drive, according to police.
The driver, reported as being 18-year-old Jacob R. Heill by Kentucky.com, was headed east.
His car possibly “veered off the road a little bit,” Lexington police Sgt. Stephen Yoder said Saturday.
The boy was admitted to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Chantel and I, along with the Kentucky football family, are in grief for the Shemwells, their family and friends. It is hard to put into words the hurt we feel in our hearts, and our prayers and deepest condolences are with the Shemwell family and all affected by this tragedy.
— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) September 18, 2018
University spokesman Jay Blanton confirmed Heil is a registered first-year student at Kentucky. Heil was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
According to the arrest citation, Heil had “a strong odor of alcoholic beverages, red blood shot watery eyes and showed signs of impairment on field sobriety tests, per WKYT.
Heil is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.
Our hearts are broken for the Shemwell family. We ask our fans to join us in supporting them through unimaginable tragedy while respecting their privacy. Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with Marco’s family and all those whose lives he touched. We pray for peace for them.
— Mitch Barnhart (@UKMitchBarnhart) September 18, 2018
University president Eli Capilouto said in a statement that “the entire University of Kentucky community is heart-sick at the loss of our young friend and fan.”
Capilouto asks Big Blue Nation to provide emotional support to the family as they cope with the loss.
“In this awful moment, we hope his parents, brother and other loved ones feel the warm and caring embrace generated by every soul in our UK family,” Capilouto said. “And let us care for one another with intention and compassion, as today we mark another reminder of the fragility of this life.”