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Fargo boy's mother comforted that donated organs will help others live

Michael Fetzer, 7, died Friday from injuries after being struck by a pickup in the 500 block of Santa Cruz Drive in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

FARGO - Michael Fetzer, 7, died Friday from injuries he suffered when he was struck by a pickup near his Fargo home, but his donated organs will help others live, including an 11-year-old girl who received his heart, said the boy's mother, Bobbi Fetzer.

She said her son's liver went to a 10-month-old girl and one of his kidneys was a match for a 36-year-old woman.

Three people are also being evaluated for receiving the boy's other kidney and a 53-year-old man will receive his intestines.

As painful as it was to lose her son, Fetzer said it helps to know that other lives will be better for what her son could give them.

"He was a happy-go-lucky little boy," Fetzer said.

"He had a smile for everyone," agreed Lynette Martin of Minot, N.D., a family friend and "honorary aunt."

Both women view the incident as an accident.

Bobbi Fetzer said her son was playing at a neighbor's house and was returning home for supper Thursday when the incident occurred in the Buena Vista mobile home park.

"I don't want people to think my son did something wrong ... we don't know what he did," she said, adding that it is her understanding that the pickup driver is the only witness to the event.

Fargo police are still investigating the incident, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

He identified the driver of the pickup as James A. Hehr, 63, a resident of the mobile home park.

A phone listing for Hehr could not be found and a message left at his door was not returned.

Martin said a police officer she talked to described the incident as a tragic accident.

"It was an accident and we can reconcile that," she said. "As long as it was an accident, we will deal with our own grief."

The speed limit in the mobile home park is 20 mph. There are no speed bumps to slow traffic.

Martin said police have said they don't believe speed was a factor in the accident, but she urged drivers to slow down, anyway.

"It's summer. You need to watch for children," she said.