Convinced by older kids to play, this dangerous game was the last thing an 8-year-old boy did

Video/WPTV - West Palm, FL

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An 8-year-old boy was playing a game of “chicken” with oncoming vehicles on busy Lantana Road when he was struck and killed Wednesday night, according to a family friend.

The friend said that LeAndre Jeremiah Desronvil, a third-grade student at Palm Beach Maritime Academy in Lantana, may have been coaxed into playing the dangerous game by some older children he was with when the incident took place. A group of children who were with LeAndre ran away after the boy was struck, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

In a typical game of chicken, two drivers head toward each other on a collision course before one yields to the other at the last moment. The driver who gets out of the way is labeled a chicken.

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According to the sheriff’s office, LeAndre and several other children were in the center median of Lantana Road just east of Congress Avenue and were attempting to beat vehicles across the eastbound lanes of the roadway when the crash took place.

Lantana Road is a six-lane roadway with a posted speed limit of 45 mph.

“It’s not something I would expect him to be doing,” said the family friend, who asked that she be identified as Ivy Amor. “He was too smart for that, but there were other kids involved.”

Among the children that were with LeAndre was his 12-year-old sister, the friend said.

LeAndre was hit by a 2017 Chevrolet Colorado in the center lane of three eastbound lanes and died at the scene. Firefighters from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Station 35, across Lantana Road from the crash site, and other stations responded, an agency spokesman said.

The boy was thrown into the road north of the apartment complex he lived on the 5900 block of Via Vermilya, opposite the Lantana airport.

Joseph Ingrassia of Deerfield Beach was the driving the Chevrolet that struck LeAndre. The sheriff’s office said Ingrassia remained at the scene but did not indicate if he would face any charges. Attempts to reach Ingrassia on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Several photos of 8-year-old LeAndre Jeremiah Desronvil were placed among flowers and candles for a memorial off of Lantana Road where he was hit and killed by a car Wednesday November 15, 2017. (Hannah Winston/The Palm Beach Post)

The Florida Department of Children and Families said late Thursday that it has opened a child-death investigation. Secretary Mike Carroll called LeAndre’s death “heartbreaking, and we are grieving with the Desronvil family as they mourn his loss.”

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The family friend said that LeAndre was an outgoing, creative child who loved playing sports, particularly football and basketball.

Ivy Amor said that she helped raise LeAndre after his mother suffered a heart attack when the boy was 4 years old.

“His father can’t even speak,” Ivy Amor said. “LeAndre was a beautiful boy with a beautfiul smile.”

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