The parents of a boy who was killed watching the Baja 500 recently broke their silence recently about what exactly happened. Tragically they were headed toward a safer viewing area when the accident happened.
Brandon and Melissa Hendriks along with their three wanted to catch the start to the Baja 500, but said they say they did not feel safe where they were standing. Eventually a race official directed them to a safer location, they told KTLA News in Los Angeles.
Unfortunately they wouldn’t make it safety. While making their way to the new location, driver Todd Pedersen, CEO of the Orem, Utah-based Vivint, lost control of his truck and plowed headlong into Melissa and 8-year-old Xander.
“I remember looking at him and saying, ‘It’s coming right at us,'” Melissa Hendriks told the news station. “We all ran as fast as we could. But we couldn’t run fast enough.”
The family happened to be visiting friends who were doing missionary work in Ensenada when they decided to take their three sons to see the start of the 2016 Baja 500 race.
Xander was pronounced dead on arrival at an Ensenada hospital, while his mother suffered head trauma and massive leg injuries.
But Pedersen later came to the hospital after the race and met with Xander’s father, a spirit of forgiveness took hold. Pedersen is reported to have told Hendriks how deeply sorry he was, and Hendriks said he forgave him and that he knew it was an accident.
“I’ve been forgiven for things I have done on purpose,” Hendriks said.
A GoFundMe page for the Hendriks family asked friends to share memories of Xander and to pray for his mother, Melissa Hendriks.
The page has raised over $114,000 toward medical and funeral expenses by late Thursday afternoon.