The 3-year-old child darted behind a trailer into traffic before being struck by a car, according to the Melbourne Police Department
A 3-year-old boy was killed Sunday after running into traffic in Florida, while his mother, who was also hit, was seriously injured trying to save him.
Police said three people — including the 31-year-old mom and her 3-year-old son — had exited a vehicle “parked southbound in the center lane” of Dairy Road in Melbourne shortly before the toddler ran into traffic.
The child entered traffic by darting behind a trailer they were pulling, according to a news release from the Melbourne Police Department.
The toddler’s mother “attempted to stop the child” shortly before they were both struck by a 2009 Honda Pilot traveling northbound on Dairy Road just before 8:30 p.m. local time, police said.
Both the child and his mom sustained “serious” injuries as a result of the collision, the MPD said. The 3-year-old was eventually pronounced dead.
Further information about the mother’s condition was not released by authorities.
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Loved ones identified the child as Cayden Denny, according to GoFundMe campaigns set up on behalf of the family. “He was the coolest little boy and his family's pride and joy,” a family friend wrote in the description on one of the pages.
A second GoFundMe was also set up by the boy's grandmother. "My family is torn to pieces," wrote organizer Michelle Becher. "My daughter, Cassie & her husband, Johnny lost their baby boy."
The organizer went on to share a message her daughter posted on Facebook following the crash.
"I can’t even express how I feel right now besides empty. I am physically hurt as the vehicle struck Cayden and I going 65 mph down dairy road in front of our home," Cassie wrote. "All I really know is that I tried my best to save him."
"It all happened very fast," the mom added. "My body is recovering but I’m not sure if my heart ever will. I am currently living my worst nightmare."
As of Tuesday afternoon, over $13,000 has been raised via both fundraisers for funeral expenses and travel costs “for some immediate family members that live outside the area.”
An investigation into the crash is ongoing. The MPD said drugs and alcohol were “not a factor in this crash.”
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