Boy killed on train considered outstanding footballer

Eli Medrano and his mother, Yeraldin Pardo. (GoFundMe)

Eli Medrano, a second-grader at Weyanoke Elementary School killed in a June 5 train crash, is known for his “larger-than-life personality, terrific sense of humor and smile that could light up the room “.

This quote comes from a GoFundMe page created by football coach Ben Sprague on behalf of Jeffrey Medrano.

Eli was walking with his mother, Yeraldin Pardo, 28, of Lincolnia, and Diego Arriaza, 28, of Annandale, on the trestle above Accotink Lake Park when Arriaza was struck and killed by a freight train . Pardo and his son fell to their deaths on the bank of the creek below.

Related story: Train crash victims identified

Eli was a remarkable player, both as an offensive winger and an unstoppable goalkeeper on the Alexandria Soccer Association U9 Red Team, Sprague wrote on the GoFundMe page.

A memorial at Lake Accotink Park. (Marie Shoukat)

“Yeraldin, his kind and loving mother, was there by his side supporting him in every game – loudly applauding every tackle, goal and save. Eli was a football fanatic and an absolute joy to watch on the field, always smiling, uplifting and supporting his teammates,” Sprague wrote. “He was truly a light in this world and we will all miss him terribly, on and off the field.”

“As Eli and Yeraldin’s family faces this unspeakable tragedy, we ask for your prayers and any support you can give to help them during this most difficult time,” the GoFundMe page reads. The page has already raised $41,575.