Crash kills 10-year-old; mom arrested

Brighton baseball community rallies around victim's team

Steve Smith
Posted 6/1/21

A 27-year-old woman is under arrest after a May 30 rollover crash in Brighton killed her 10-year-old son.

Karena Cecil, of Brighton, could face charges of vehicular homicide, careless driving …

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Crash kills 10-year-old; mom arrested

Brighton baseball community rallies around victim's team

Posted

The Brighton youth baseball community, including the high-school baseball team turned out to honor a 10-year-old boy who died in a rollover crash Memorial Day weekend. 

Local media identified the youngster as Gavin Cecil. His mother, Karena Cecil, 27, of Brighton, faces a vehicular homicide charge, according to the Adams County District Attorney's Office. Her bond hearing is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, and her preliminary hearing was set for 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 25. Both are in Adams County Court.

The youngster played on a 10U rec baseball team. It met for the first time June 1 since the crash.

 "When they arrived at the field, there were players and coaches from some of our other teams there to give every player on the team a rose and let them know that the entire BYBSA (Brighton Youth Baseball and Softball Association) community is there to support them," according to a Facebook post from BYBSA. "Then after the BHS Bulldogs Baseball varsity team finished their game, the entire team came to their practice to talk to the boys and take pictures."

"That team is just going through a lot right now," said BHS baseball player Eli Bowman. "I couldn’t imagine losing one of my teammates. So we went over to their practice to meet them and talk to them and take some pictures."

In addition, the 10U team will join the Bulldogs when they take the field for a home game against Chaparral High School.  First pitch is at 7 p.m.

"Once we all figured out that he was part of our Brighton baseball community, we wanted to make sure that we were able to support them, especially in such a difficult time," said BHS player Bryce Peterson. "With the bond our team has built, we used it as a way to show those boys that we are always there for them."

"Cory (Cory Moul,  BYBSA executive director) is a friend of mine and has helped us with logistics many times in my short career at BHS," said Bulldogs' baseball coach Justin Stringer. "The player who died was his son's best friend. When he reached out to let me know they would be practicing on the girls softball field after our game was over, I decided we would visit his team with our guys to show them we support them and are behind them in their time of need."

The crash happened on I-76 near Bromley Lane shortly before 7:30 p.m. May 30. Brighton police said the car was heading eastbound when Cecil lost control. That caused  her car to go onto the shoulder of the interstate before it rolled. The vehicle landed in the westbound lanes.

Three other people were in the car. All are expected to be OK. The crash and the investigation closed both lanes of I-76.

 "As a kid, I remember I always really looked up to the high-school players," Bowman said. "So we wanted to remind them that even when times are tough, Brighton Bulldogs always stay together."

Most of the Bulldogs' squad started in the Brighton youth baseball program.

 "Our varsity guys want to be the leaders in the baseball community in Brighton, so they jumped at the chance to show their support," Stringer said. "I allowed the kids to be organic with the experience, and they stepped up to the plate like they always do, giving the kids high-fives, encouraging them, etc. One of my players then asked if the younger team could run out to their starting positions with them when we played Chaparral. So, obviously, we did that." 

 "It was awesome to see the team have some smiles on their faces when we were talking to them despite the circumstances," Peterson said. "Our team was happy to be able to remind those boys that there is always someone looking out for them."

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