3-year-old St. Rose boy killed in accident with dump truck - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

3-year-old St. Rose boy killed in accident with dump truck

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ST. ROSE, La. - A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals and candles on Summerton Drive marks the spot where a 3-year-old lost his life Wednesday afternoon after colliding with a dump truck while riding an electric dirt bike with training wheels.

Now the family of Mark "Tray" Washington III struggles to cope with the sudden loss.

"He's an angel now," said Mark Anthony Washington Sr., who is the boy's paternal grandfather.

What some family members saw when they arrived at the accident site will be hard to shake.

"I'm like, God, it was completely under the truck, I don't know how they got his body, I don't know how his body was on the sidewalk the way the bike was under the truck," said Bernice Long, the boy's great-grandmother.

The truck driver, whose name was not released by St. Charles Parish authorities, lived in the same neighborhood.

"A person driving a dump truck who lives in that apartment complex pulled into the parking lot and was backing into a parking area," said Captain Pat Yoes, Public Information Officer for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office. "At the same time, a child was driving on a sidewalk on a motorized cart with training wheels on it, and at some point veered off of the sidewalk across the grassy area and into the parking lot underneath the truck."

Yoes said the child was under adult supervision when the tragic accident occurred.

"And the family member was actually the one that saw it and ran out and tried to stop the truck, but at that point, it was too late," Yoes said.

The 40-year-old driver was not cited.

"It's still under investigation, but this was just a tragic accident all the way around," Yoes said.

"I'm not angry, I forgive him, I forgive the man," said the child's grandfather.

"I just miss him," said the boy's mother, Javonda Lewis, as she was ushered out of the apartment building to a vehicle.

And while family members said they were not angry with the truck driver, they said he should have had someone guiding him as he backed up in an area known to have children outside playing.

"Because he's not able to see everything in that big old truck, and you can't be too careful or something like this will happen," said Washington.

"The message here is, when you're watching a child, you know, it's a tragedy all the way around," Yoes said. "But when you're watching a child it really takes just a split second for them to get into harm's way."

The family has set up a Mark Washington III Memorial Fund at Capital One Bank to help defray funeral costs. Donations may be made at any Capital One branch.

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