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Report: Boy, 12, killed while riding bicycle along Newton County highway
0628 CovNews Boy killed
These images of the 12-year-old victim were included on a GoFundMe page to help raise money for funeral expenses, the page organizer said - photo by Special to The Covington News

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from an earlier version with additional information.

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Newton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 12-year-old boy after a vehicle struck and killed him Saturday night while he rode a bicycle along Ga. Hwy. 81 southwest of Covington.

The boy, identified as Anthony Cruz, was riding on the highway near Lakeside Drive around 9:30 p.m. when the incident occurred, said sheriff's office spokesperson Lt. Cortney Morrison.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, Morrison said.

The driver of the vehicle stayed at the scene and waited for deputies to arrive, Morrison said.  

A GoFundMe page for the boy's funeral expenses reported it had raised more than $16,000 from 245 donors.

The page's organizer, Laila Ramirez, said Anthony was a student at Liberty Middle School and played soccer for a team in the Rockdale Youth Soccer Association in Conyers.

On the page, Ramirez wrote, "Saturday night while celebrating Cokys Cruz on her birthday her son was in a terrible accident and unfortunately lost his life. 

"Anthony Cruz (12) was such an amazing kid who always loved being around his family and friends, he was a child who could win your heart over instantly with how loving, hardworking and caring he was. 

"Saturday morning Anthony woke up at 7 a.m. to work by mowing a neighbor's lawn he was paid by the neighbor and with the money he raised by mowing his neighbors lawn he as well as two other children got onto their bicycles around 9 p.m. they were going to the gas station to buy snacks for themselves. 

"On the way back to the house from the gas station unfortunately Anthony was hit by an oncoming vehicle and was ejected from his bicycle and landed in the woods near rocks and water near the entrance of his neighborhood. Unfortunately, young Anthony lost his life due to the impact of the vehicle on his body. 

"We are raising money to help the Cruz family in this very difficult time. Funeral will be held in the coming days and we are doing this to help financially. 

"This is a very hard time for all who knew Anthony. 

Ramirez said she was a close friend to the Cruz family "and the donations will be spent to cover funeral expenses, the donations will be withdrawn out of my bank account and delivered to the Cruz family outside of gofundme in cash."