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35W bridge lit up in honor of Eagan boy fatally struck while riding bicycle

The boy's father, Brian Vitek worked with MnDOT on the lighting design

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Transportation light up the 35 W bridge blue and green Sunday in honor of a boy who was fatally struck in Eagan on Friday.

Thirteen-year-old Patric Vitak's father, Brian Vitek worked with MnDOT on the lighting design that honored Patric's hockey team and school colors.

Patric was struck and killed while riding his bicycle to Dakota Hills Middle School.

According to police, the driver who hit the teen was driving east on Diffley Road in the center lane when he made contact with the rear tire of Vitek's bicycle. The driver stayed on scene and was cooperating with police.  

Diffley Road is a busy route for many east metro residents on their way to work or school during the morning hours, with a speed limit of 45 miles per hour. There is a strip mall very close to the accident scene, with businesses including a Cub and Dunn Brothers that boost traffic. Eagan Police Chief Roger New was asked about the time of the fatal incident, and whether lack of light was a factor. He said his investigators and members of the State Patrol Reconstruction team will attempt to determine that.

New also said investigators will attempt to gather surveillance video from nearby businesses in an effort to learn what happened. 

RELATED: Eagan student fatally struck on bicycle

Hours after the crash, community members gathered to remember Patric, who played with the Eagan Hockey Association. Following a private candlelight vigil Friday night, the seventh-grader's teammates honored Patric with a short scrimmage.

The scoreboard at Eagan Civic Arena stood still, with no time or game score listed. Instead, it flashed the words "Patric Vitek," and the number "5." After the scrimmage, hundreds of other parents and their children gathered outside the Eagan Civic Arena, holding candles high into the air as they stood silent for about 30 minutes in Vitek's memory.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by neighbors of the Vitek family in their moment of loss.

RELATED: Eagan grieves as lawmakers look to Diffley Road safety solutions

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