An 18-month-old boy died after being accidentally run over by a pickup Thursday evening near Harry and Washington, police said.
Wichita police Lt. Dennis Wilson gave this account:
The toddler was with three other small children, his father and another man who had been dropped off in front of a house in the 1700 block of South Santa Fe. At some point after they were dropped off, the 18-month-old walked in front of the full-size pickup truck that brought them to the house.
As the driver pulled away, he didn’t see the child and rolled over the boy with both wheels, then realized something had happened and quickly turned around and came back and called in the accident to 911.
It’s not clear how long after the people had been dropped off that the accident occurred; it was reported about 5:45 p.m. initially as a child choking, then as a child being run over by a vehicle, Wilson said.
The boy was unresponsive when emergency crews arrived; he was taken by ambulance to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis. He was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m., Wilson said.
A 9-year-old boy, who was among the group dropped off and saw the accident, is being interviewed by investigators, Wilson said. There was no evidence in the initial investigation that the driver was impaired, he said.
“At this point ... it looks like an accident,” Wilson said.
“It’s very tragic.”
A few minutes before Wilson spoke to reporters, a cluster of adults and small children walked down the sidewalk and stood across the street from where the accident happened. The adults had grim faces.
Soon, one of the women in the group could be heard sobbing loudly.
The child’s mother was out of state, Wilson said.
Especially during warmer weather, when people are more active, motorists need to watch their speed and be extra watchful as they navigate through residential areas, he said.
“We don’t want any more unfortunate accidents like this to occur.”