MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (AP) — An 11-year-old who was upset about being grounded was fatally struck by a car after writing a note explaining he was running away from his suburban St. Louis home, his mother said.

Zaelynn Wiseman walked about 2 miles (3.22 kilometers) before he was hit Tuesday while trying to cross Interstate 270 during a busy morning rush hour in Maryland Heights, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

His mother, Garmeisha Terry, of Cape Girardeau, said her cousin, Rhonda Cox, the boy's legal guardian, grounded Zaelynn after he took Cox's credit card to buy video games.

“He left her a note and said, ‘I’m running away. I’m going to Cape to be with my dad,’” Terry said. Cape Girardeau is about 140 miles (225.31 kilometers) southeast of St. Louis.

Police said Zaelynn was walking east across the southbound lanes of I-270 when he stopped in the first lane. The driver of a Volkswagen Jetta tried to stop in time but couldn’t, police said.

Cox described Zaelynn as “a very good kid” who “loved unconditionally” but declined to discuss the circumstances that led the boy to leave the house.

“It was just a horrible tragedy,” Cox said.

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