Vigil held for Largo High teen killed in crash while walking to Clearwater bus stop

Family and friends honored a 15-year-old boy’s memory Thursday evening after he died in a crash last week as he walked to the school bus stop in Clearwater

Music filled the air along Belleair Road Thursday as family, friends and neighbors gathered to remember Ethan Weiser. At least 100 people came to write notes and share memories at the 15-year-old’s vigil.

His grandfather remembers him as a creative boy who loved his family and helping others.

"Ethan would come to our house and spend some time and play video games. And every time we would call his name, he would be right there," said Charles Croasmun, Ethan’s grandfather.

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The teenager was headed to the school bus stop the morning of August 26 on Belleair Road near South Haven Drive when a driver hit and killed him as he tried to cross the road. His family said there are safety problems on Belleair Road, such as speeding and not enough lighting. 

A vigil was held Thursday evening in honor of 15-year-old Ethan Weiser.

"We just need reflection, we need lights. We need some way to alert a motorist that there is an individual or a person crossing that street or in that street," said Matt Croasmun, Ethan’s uncle.

Matt Croasmun said he’s pushing for pedestrian safety changes in his nephew’s memory.

"At the end of the day, our kids don’t have the luxury most of the time of having a voice at the county commissioners and at the school board meetings," said Croasmun.

Forward Pinellas reported 468 crashes on Belleair Road from 2017 to 2021. 

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"It is not on our high injury road network which is sort of an indicator we’ve got a lot of problems all over the county and a lot of other roads that have a lot more fatalities and a lot more injuries," said Whit Blanton, the executive director at Forward Pinellas. "So when they can happen here, they can happen anywhere."

The Largo High teen was killed in a Clear water crash on Aug. 26. 

Transportation experts said there’s a lesson through this tragedy.

"We have a problem countywide. We kill on average two people a day on our roadways. So that’s not acceptable to me, and it shouldn’t be acceptable to anybody," said Blanton.

Family members said it’s time for something to change.

"Please Pinellas County School System, take a look at the bus stops. Not just this one but all the bus stops," said Ethan’s grandfather.

They don’t want another family to deal with grief. Ethan’s uncle said he will miss Ethan’s voice and his direct personality. 

"That’s probably the thing I remember the most sticks out in my head, and it’s the thing that I’ll probably miss the most as we kind of go forward in this new life without Ethan," said Matt Croasmun.

Officials said Belleair Road is a county road, so it will take several agencies like the county, school board and city working together to make changes. Florida Highway Patrol said there is no update on what led up to the crash last week.