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‘He was my second dad’: Granddaughter of pedestrian killed in Kansas City crash shares grief of loss

By Jackson Kurtz

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (KMBC) — The family and friends of a pedestrian who was killed while walking down a busy street say he was a gentle giant and a “loving and thoughtful” man.

Jesse Eckes was killed following a chain reaction accident at the intersection of Benton and Truman Roads last Wednesday night.

A driven vehicle hit a Kansas City police car. Eckes and Kansas City Police Officer James Muhlbauer and his K9 partner were killed.

Doug Langner, director of Hope Faith Ministries, called him a gentle giant not because of his statue but because of what he’s done for others.

“He was trying to put everyone’s needs ahead of his own needs,” Langner said. “He was a guy that he knew when they were down. He tried to do something joking to lift their spirits.”

Ekes was also a caring uncle to his niece Brittanie Keating.

“I admired it a lot,” she said. “He was my second dad.”

He was looking for a permanent home when he was killed. His family says it seems like a nightmare now that he’s gone.

“I felt like I was in a bad dream that I wasn’t waking up from,” Keating said. “I was hurt.”

A small memorial is gathering near the crash site.

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