Community holds vigil for Kentucky boy killed in freak accident

Community holds vigil for Kentucky boy killed in freak accident
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 5:12 PM EDT
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CORBIN, Ky. (WKYT) - A southern Kentucky community rallied together to support a grieving family.

The Fayette County Coroner’s Office says 8-year-old Eli Hill was killed in a freak accident Monday while playing basketball at his home in Corbin.

His passing has rocked the small town community of Corbin.

It was an emotional evening as his teachers, coaches and teammates began paying tribute to a life that still had so much to give.

Eli Hill left it all on the baseball diamond—a place he loved to be.

“Every time we had a camp. Anytime that he could be around, you could see it. It radiated everywhere with how he interacted with his teammates, my guys,” said Corbin baseball coach Cody Philpot.

Known for his bright spirit, and fiery red hair, you knew when Eli was around.

“I can sit here and tell you word after word of the things that child has said to me that have made me laugh,” said Eli’s teacher Morgan Taylor. “Just the funniest, wittiest little kid. Just the energy that he brought to the room... happy, always smiling. That red hair that would just light up a room.”

Rotary Park is a place Eli spent a lot of his eight years. This memorial stands at the pitcher’s mound of the baseball diamond he played countless games on.

“Everyone knows how much I love baseball. But it will never be the same as Eli. Every camp, every day, he wanted the extra swings,” said family friend Cameron Combs.

Eli’s family was at the service, Lifted up by the support of friends, neighbors and even strangers.

They say they will be counting on that support not just for the next few weeks or months but even years as they keep Eli’s soul and memory alive.

“One of my biggest current fears is that our support system, that has been so amazing, will fade. I beg of you not to let that happen,” Eli’s father, Adam Hill, said. “We love you all, and we thank you from the depths of our hearts.”

Eli Hill was Number 18 on the baseball field but number one in the hearts of so many.

Eli’s parents say they will establish a memorial fund in Eli’s name. They say they are going to do great things with it, and it will make a difference.

The Whitley County Sheriff’s Office warned about rumors of a potential fraud GoFundMe going around. However, they haven’t been able to find any evidence of that online.

The Hills say they have not set up a GoFundMe and are asking people to wait until the memorial fund is announced and set up if they want to give. We’ll post that information when it is announced.

Funeral arrangements have been set for Eli. A visitation will be Thursday evening from 5 until 8 at Hart Funeral Home in Corbin. The funeral will be Friday morning at 11, also at Hart Funeral Home.