HERO Club honors a hero
Students recognize middle-school student who saved his sister’s life
Fallon youth who attend the HERO before and after school program wanted to show their appreciation to a real hero.
Both the youngsters and adult supervisors honored last week 13-year-old Jaiden Locarnini Barajas, a Churchill County Middle School student who was killed on Sept. 25 when he was struck by a GMC truck at his bus stop on Rice Road. Before the crash, though, Jaiden saved his two sisters. One sister stepped forward to look for the bus, and another sister was standing in front of him. According to this stepfather, Wayne Quigley, Jaiden kicked his sister out of the way before the truck hit him.
“He was a hero of the community,” said Lorri Freeman, who directs the HERO program at Epworth United Methodist Church. “We wanted to do something special for his family and memory.”
The youngsters made a poster with the HERO Club emblem placed on it. They then signed the poster and had the opportunity to leave a message if they wanted.
Freeman said part of the poster was done in red, Jaiden’s favorite color.
In addition to the youngsters adding their comments, Freeman said the staff wanted to be involved. They included Raimie Freeman, Christyana Pressey, Brianna Archambault Brandi Cedeno, Sophia Jeffs, Steve Russell, Jena Johnson, Alec Lecker, Laura Butcher and Lauren Judd.
Before students finished the poster and two small books, Freeman invited Jaiden’s parents to visit the HERO Club. Victoria Smith, 9, drew one of the books and said it as a way to show love. Lukas Freeman, also 9 years old, said his book shows everybody cared.
“It’s heartwarming and appreciated,” said Wayne Quigley’s, Jaiden’s stepfather. “The community has reached out to us a lot. We moved here about three months ago.”
Jaiden’s parents said they appreciate everybody for their concerns.
“It means a lot to us,” said his mother, Jenna Locarnini. “People didn’t know Jaiden. He was a good kid.”