Driver who hit and killed pedestrian on US-12 hosts vigil in remembrance of victim

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NILES, Mich. --- A vigil was held tonight for a 70 year-old- man who was hit and killed while crossing US-12 in Niles and the person hosting the remembrance ceremony is the same person who was behind the wheel during the crash.

The victim’s name was Earl Edward Doss and his roommates said he walked to the Marathon gas station, directly across the street from their house, almost every day.

Doss was just crossing the road to get back to his house at Birchcrest Estates when the crash happened.

Besides the lights from the gas station, the intersection of Reum Road and US-12 where the gas station is situated is not a well-lit or safe area to be crossing the street which is why his friends say they don’t blame the driver.

“It could’ve happened to anyone, we could’ve been driving the car you know,” Sam Lowe said, Doss’s roommate and friend.

Lowe and his other roommate Larry Harris were at the vigil and said they’re still struggling with the loss of their friend.

“I took it a little hard myself because I consider him a good friend,” Harris said. “Earl was quiet, he had a good sense of humor, we joked a lot and watched football. Earl, like I said, he was a good guy.”

Doss was remembered with prayer, candles and a balloon release at the site where he was hit and killed.

Nicole Kirtboll was behind the wheel of the car that hit Doss and wanted to host the vigil.

“I’m just glad everybody came out to support,” Kirtboll said. “I’m just thankful that we could be the family that Earl didn’t have.”

Lowe and Harris said Doss had just left the house to grab a few things from the store when it happened at around 7 p.m. Sunday. It was getting dark outside and there are very few street lights in the area and no cross walk.

“He was always coming over here to the store to get whatever he needed and he’s old and he couldn’t walk that fast,” Lowe said.

Now, both Doss’s roommates and Kirtboll and her family are comforted after honoring him today, leaving a single balloon in the spot where he was hit.

“I’m grateful,” Kirtboll said. “Grateful for everybody coming out to help us.”

Police are still investigating this incident and said they considered Doss to be j-walking. The driver is not facing any charges for the accident at this point.

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