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Madison mourns loss; child struck by car

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Andrew "A.J." Davis, Jr.

Madison County is mourning the loss of a local child who lost his life after a tragic incident in Madison took place on Saturday, July 21, at approximately 3:30 p.m.

According to a report by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Willie Parrish, 74, of Madison, was traveling north on Parramore Ave., while approaching the T-intersection of SW Miller St. Parrish visually observed Andrew “A.J.” Davis Jr., 6, of Madison, dart into the roadway of Parramore Ave. from the right, chasing a basketball directly into the path of Parrish's 1984 Cadillac. Parrish steered to the left in an attempt to avoid striking the child. As Parrish steered to the left, Davis' path of travel kept west, directly in front of Parrish's vehicle. The right front bumper of Parrish's vehicle then struck Davis. FHP further stated in the report that the force of the impact threw Davis across Parramore Ave., into the curb of SW Miller St.

Parrish's vehicle continued northwest where it then ran off the roadway, striking a standing tree with its front right bumper, where the vehicle came to a final rest, facing west, off the roadway of SW Miller St. Charges are currently pending investigation. FHP was assisted by the Madison Police Department, Madison County EMS and Madison Fire Engine #2.

Born on Dec. 17, 2011, Davis is survived by his mother, Latoya Cuthbertson (Jaleel) Gillyard; and father, Andrew Davis Sr. Also surviving Davis are his siblings: Keosha Cuthbertson, Lamari Cuthbertson, Jamar Cuthbertson, Ja'layah Parker, Jaiyon Gillyard, Jayden Davis, Jalicia Bell and Dreveon Davis; grandparents: Louise Robinson and Albert and Betty Davis; uncle, Demarcus Fudge; and godfather, Michael Dupree. Davis was a student at Madison County Central School (MCCS). Sharon Tuten Underhill, who was one of Davis' instructors at MCCS, paid tribute to him on social media. "A sweet little boy gone way too soon," said Underhill. "This year, every time I saw him, I'd tell him 'love yah kid!' One day, he told me 'Ms. Sharon, you know I'm not in Pre-K anymore, [I said] yeah buddy, but I'm always gonna love you! He smiled and said I love you too!"

A celebration of life service will take place on Saturday, July 28, at 11 a.m., at Mt. Zion AME Church #2, located at 576 SW Dade St., in Madison. A visitation will be held on Friday, July 27, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Cooks and Cooper Funeral Home, located at 162 SW Third Ave., in Madison.

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