Family, friends remember Mason Hada on his birthday

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 10:24 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - An emotional day for friends and family of Mason Hada, who would’ve celebrated his 17th birthday Friday, almost 11 months after he was killed in a car accident in August 2021.

July 8th will always be a special day for the Hada family, but this year is different as Mason Hada’s family will celebrate his birthday without him. His dad Leroy says Mason’s birthday was never about him, but rather his family.

Mason Hada’s dad Leroy says the only gift mason wanted for his birthday is to celebrate it with those closest to him.

“We’ll all have dinner and all of us will hang out because that’s what he would do if he was here. But it just sucks because this is his first birthday since he passed and... it’s horrible,” says Leroy.

Mason also had a strong presence in his local church’s youth group. His pastor says he was a driving force in getting his family to go to church.

“I still remember mason is always set right in front of me. And mason was he had a laser focus no matter what he did, he had laser focus whether it was with loving his family or with his football team. He did the same thing in our Sunday school,” says Pastor David McDaniel.

“Still to this day, Pastor Dave will like, he’ll speak on something about Mason or something and it... it guts him... just right in the middle of the service and start sobbing,” says Leroy.

Mason’s pastor says Mason’s life taken far too soon should make drivers think twice about hitting the gas pedal.

“If just one life one kid doesn’t have to go one family doesn’t have to go through what makes sense family went through what people just understand that there’s no place you’ve got to be that’s worth a life,” says McDaniel.

“This dude was so loved and he didn’t even know. He didn’t even know it because he was so humble. He was so humble. I see how much pain everybody’s going through and there’s nothing you can do about it,” says Leroy.

One of Leroy’s favorite memories with his son is when he would help him out at work and instead of finishing their work, they would drive to Wisconsin and fish off their boat.

The man who allegedly hit and killed Mason, Deahri Steele, has not been arrested, but the search has been turned over to the U.S. Marshalls.

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