13-year-old boy died after running across I-10 - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

13-year-old boy died after running across I-10

Updated:
Family photo of Jeremiah Williams Family photo of Jeremiah Williams

New Orleans, La. - 13-year-old Jeremiah Williams was supposed to return to Southeast Louisiana Hospital Tuesday afternoon after spending time with his family in LaPlace for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Jeremiah was here for about a week. Everything was fine. He took his medication and everything was fine," says Margie Conner, Williams' grandmother.

Williams' family says he was a slow learner and had been attending a program at Southeast Louisiana Hospital since August to develop his motor skills. 

His Thanksgiving break was over and his family says two workers showed up at their home in LaPlace to pick up Williams to go back to the hospital.

"When they came to pick him up, he greeted both of them with a hug. They said you're ready to go back, you look happy and he said yeah. He got into the car and he waved to me bye," says the boy's mother, Leslie Williams.

Something, though, went horribly wrong on the I-10 eastbound near Cleary.

"There was some sort of altercation in the vehicle and they had to pull over to the side. The juvenile exited the vehicle and they were trying to get him back. 911 was called," says State Trooper Melissa Matey.

Before police could arrive, state troopers say Williams took off running across the interstate, making it to the median and then, for some unknown reason, attempting to run back when he was struck by a tow truck.  Williams died at the hospital.

"Where were the security locks in the van? If something was going on, how could you allow him to get out of the van onto the interstate?" Conner wonders.

State Police say there were child locks on the doors, but they say Williams climbed into the front passenger seat to get out of the van.  Troopers are still investigating.

His family believes there's more to the story.  "He didn't jump out of that van. He just didn't run out of the car. He wouldn't do that. They committed a crime and they need to answer to it," says Veronica Acosta, Williams' aunt.

His family says when Williams was home for the Thanksgiving break, he never showed signs of being aggressive.  "I saw happiness in Jeremiah. What happened in that van to upset him, I don't know but I need answers to what happened," says Conner.

The family says the hospital never contacted them about the incident.

The Department of Health and Hospitals says it's aware of the incident and is conducting an internal investigation.

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