RUBONIA -- Ginobli "Nobi" Yarn, 9, was excited about going into the fourth grade at Palm View Elementary School in Manatee County in August.
But the Rubonia youth, who was named after San Antonio Spurs' shooting guard Manu Ginobili, lost his life Saturday when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on his own street.
"I'm getting choked up just talking about him," said family friend Linda Mack, who came to the home of Michelle Jordan, Nobi's mother, on 14th Avenue East on Sunday to comfort the family. "He was the sweetest little kid. Everyone loved him in Rubonia. He was part of everyone's family. We are all a family here. He was sweet, sweet, sweet. He would do anything for you, anything for anybody."
At 7:12 p.m. Saturday, Ginobli was riding his bicycle north on 14th Avenue East approaching the intersection with 72nd Street Court East when he crossed the road in front of a car driven by a 22-year-old Palmetto woman, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
Ginobli's family said
Sunday that witnesses reported that the driver was exceeding the 30 mph speed limit in her 2007 Hyundai Elantra and did not immediately stop after striking the child.
Michelle Jordan said because the crash is still being investigated, her son's body has not yet been turned over to the family so funeral arrangements have not been set.
The family attends St. James AME church.
"She was driving too fast," Mack said. "They say Nobi ran the stop sign, which he could have, but she should have stopped to see about the baby. She didn't even stop. A man heard the crash and got in his car and ran her down. How could someone run over a baby and leave him on the street like that? So, sad."
The FHP report does not indicate it was a hit-and-run case but does state that charges are pending against the driver. The report does not specify what the charges are.
Mack and other family said that Nobi literally logged hundreds of miles on his bike during his lifetime riding the streets of Rubonia.
"He always liked to be on his bike," Mack said. "He's been riding that bike around Rubonia forever. You run him home he would come right back. You couldn't get rid of him. Even if he was being bad he had that little smile. I'm going to miss him."
"He was a good brother," said Dyaisha Jordan, 18, Nobi's sister. "I loved him so much. He was like my child. He was sweet and kind. He meant everything to me."
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter@RichardDymond.