A Shiloh family is devastated after one of its youngest members was killed while playing in front of his grandmother's home on a riding toy while the family celebrated another member's birthday.
The one-year-old toddler was outside of the Hendersonville Road home on the toy when it, and he, rolled out into the road on West Chapel Circle just as a man in a 2004 Jeep Cherokee was passing by.
It was approximately 3:30 p.m. when the 58-year-old man turned off of Brad Street and onto West Chapel Circle. He noticed a small group of children on his left and slowed his speed accordingly. Police later estimated he was only traveling at about 15 to 20 miles per hour at the time of the fatal car accident. The little boy entered the street on the toy from between two parked cars on the driver's right.
According to an Asheville police sergeant, the front passenger side of the Jeep hit the small boy and ran over his left foot. His head then struck the pavement, causing internal trauma. The driver reported to police that as he passed by the group of children on his left, he felt a bump on the right side of the Jeep and thought he'd run over a toy.
The man stopped a few feet from the accident. Police noted the toddler was not dragged by the vehicle. Because of his short stature and the height of the SUV, investigators determined the child would not be visible to the driver unless he was at least 12' ahead of the Jeep.
During the course of the death investigation, investigators conferred with the Buncombe County District Attorney's Office. The driver was tested for alcohol use and the results were negative. Police determined that he will face no criminal charges in the unfortunate tragedy.
While it appears to have been an unavoidable accident, the man and his liability insurance carrier may bear some responsibility in the child's untimely death if the family chooses to pursue the matter in the North Carolina civil court system.
Source: Citizen-Times, "No charges filed in Asheville toddler’s death" Romando Dixson,, Jun. 25, 2014