Parents of child killed at Pittsburgh Zoo hope to continue toy truck charity


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The family of the boy killed at the Pittsburgh Zoo earlier this month is continuing to collect toy trucks so they can be donated to children's charities in memory of the 2-year-old.

Maddox Derkosh, the only son of Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh of Whitehall, was killed Nov. 4 when he fell into the African painted dog exhibit while visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium with his mother.

In the days that followed his death, his family suggested that people donate toy trucks -- Maddox's favorite type of toy -- so they could be given to Christmas charities for children in need.

The donations poured in, from people near and far, filling up a large room at the William Slater II Funeral Service in Scott. Less than three weeks after Maddox's death, nearly 4,000 trucks have been donated, a news release said.

"The Derkosh family has been amazed by the support and generosity of the entire community," Ryan Noone, a cousin of Ms. Derkosh, said in a statement. "Maddox was an incredible little boy filled with life and fascinated by the sheer size of trucks. By collecting toy trucks for children in need this holiday season we will ensure Maddox's memory and spirit lives on."

The response to the request for toy trucks was so great that family and friends of Maddox formed an organization called Trucks for Maddox to collect toy trucks throughout the holiday season for distribution to several charities. No deadline for donating trucks has been set yet.

Toy trucks can be dropped off or mailed to William Slater II Funeral Service in Scott, 1650 Greentree Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 or taken to any Pittsburgh Fire Department station. A list of stations is at http://pittsburghpa.gov/fire/districts.htm.

Trucks for Maddox has a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TrucksForMaddox, that displays photos of the donated trucks. A posting on the page says the organization intends to make the toy truck collection an annual holiday tradition in Maddox's memory.

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Kaitlynn Riely: kriely@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1707. First Published November 22, 2012 5:00 AM


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