Wake County teen remembered after a foundation set up in his honor

Keith Jones in a photo from his family.

WENDELL, N.C. (WNCN) — A Wake County teen is being remembered through a foundation in his honor.

Keith Jones, known as “KJ,” 13, was killed during a hit-and-run while standing at his Wendell bus stop in 2014.

The driver, Efren Vences plead guilty to misdemeanor death by vehicle.  Vences is currently on probation and is required to pay restitution to the family through a foundation created in the 13-year-old’s honor.

“My son’s death is not in vain, and out of the tragedy there is something good that is developing,” said KJ’s mother, D Marie Jones.

Life has not been easy for KJ’s parents since he was killed in 2014.

“It’s been extremely hard for me, because he was my only child,” Jones said.

After their son’s death, his parents knew they had to keep his memory alive.

“He loved his teammates, he love his coach, he loved his family,” Jones told CBS North Carolina.

That love started the idea for the Keith Jones Athletic Memorial Foundation.

Tracey Greggs, the foundation’s operation executive, said, “the foundation is a way of raising money to sponsor other athletics of scholarships for youth, as well as to sponsor youth teams in the eastern Wake community.”

Those that are sponsored will wear a KJ Foundation uniform.

“It has allowed me to have the community to keep him on their minds” KJ’s mother said.

It also to help other kids fulfill a similar dream to KJ’s — becoming athletes.

“He was cut down so early, but that dream still remains,” Greggs said.  “Even with having other youth to be able to be sponsored by him.”

Jones added, “I have kids to play in memory of him and that feels good as a parent — to be able to see other kids play, because I don’t have my kid there to play.”

All the money raised at Saturday’s fundraiser will go toward the foundation.

In December, the Keith Jones Athletic Memorial Foundation will host a gala.

For more information on the foundation, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/xr4s2

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