The family of a competitive cheerleader killed over the weekend is reliving their heartbreak once again so that they can share his life.
Kenrod James, 28, was killed Saturday, the day after his birthday, in a car accident near Palm Springs.
His El Cajon-based CheerForce team, Nfinity, just nailed first place in their competition and he was headed to his parents’ house in Hemet to spend time with them on his birthday weekend.
“He kept my heart warm as a son,” Kenrod’s mother Dorene said, choking back tears.
Kenrod was involved in a two-car accident on westbound Interstate 10. Before getting out to check the damage, he called his parents to let them know he was OK.
“I didn’t expect the worst. I didn’t expect that he would be gone. I expect my son to come home,” Dorene said. “I love my son so much. He means everything to me.”
As he took inventory on his car, another driver slammed into the back of Kenrod’s car and into him.
His parents were trying to call him back and grew concerned when he didn’t answer, so they drove toward the scene of the accident. They say on their tenth try, someone answered Kenrod’s phone.
“A young lady answered the phone and told [Dorene] she found Kenrod on the side of the freeway and she was calling 911,” Kenrod’s father William said.
Doctors tried their hardest to revive Kenrod at the hospital, but they couldn’t bring him back.
Dorene called her son a “loveable” and “purpose-driven” kid, and she was excited to cook and relax during his visit.
Both Dorene and William are devastated, but say there is a lesson in their son’s death.
“You have to always tell your kids you love them –doesn’t matter what we’re going through, but always use just ‘I love you.’ Texting isn’t good enough, I want to hear your voice,” William said.
A GoFundMe page set up for Kenrod says he was a Weber State University alumni, a Cheer National Champion and an MCAS Allstar coach and athlete.