15 year anniversary of 10-year-old's death - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

15 year anniversary of 10-year-old's death

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Today marks 15 years since 10-year-old Damon Nelson was killed in a car crash. His mom decided to open Damon's Sports Bar and Grill five years ago to honor his memory.

On June 19, 2001 the truck Damon was in was clipped from behind flipping, throwing the boy out the window.

"They had told me it hit so it flipped upside down on top of it and when that happened somehow he had flew through the window and it landed on top of him," said Michelle Koontz, Damon's mother and bar owner.

His mother remembers this day 15-years-ago. Like most parents she never imagined this would happen to her little boy.

"In my mind you never think that something like this can happen to your kids, almost like they are invincible, and whatever did happen they can fix it," said Koontz.

The mother struggled for a while after her oldest child died.

"It was very hard in the beginning. Like I said I try to live my life for him and take risks and try and live it to the most everyday because you never know when you're not gonna be here," said Koontz.

This is one of the main reasons why she opened Damon's Sports Bar and Grill.

Damon's mother says everything about this restaurant is in memory of her son including their slogan, "where life is good."

A lot of Damon's family members work at the bar including his mother, aunt and grandmother.

"I think it has made us all closer. We have one common bond and it's Damon. Even when we do get mad at each other we are all still family and we work it out," said Koontz.

The bar and grill located on Kimball Avenue in Waterloo had a balloon release to honor Damon on Sunday night.

If alive today, Damon would be 25-years-old.

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