A 6-year-old boy was killed while on his way to Meadow Woods Elementary School, hit by a semi-truck as he was crossing the street with his brother and some friends.
It happened on Landstar Boulevard near SR 417 in Orlando around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol said the children were in the crosswalk at the exit ramp off State Road 417 and Landstar Blvd. when a semi-truck carrying wood trusses struck Jaden Vasquez Vallejo.
"Nobody ever wants to see a fatal crash, especially involving a child, especially a child on the sidewalk going to school, especially with his brother," said FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes. "That's going to be very hard for his family, for his brother to be there and apparently witnessed what happened."
Sgt. Montes said the truck driver is extremely upset.
"He told us that he felt a bump and that's when he stopped. He never saw a child," said Montes, who added that the boy's brother and another witness said they never saw the driver brake or even slow down.
"[The brother] did say they both got off their bikes, his brother walked into the crosswalk, and the truck just did not stop," she said.
The brother tried to perform CPR, calling his mom who did the same before first responders got there. The boy was taken to Nemours Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"To hear not only that your child has been struck, but then to have to race against time to try to save him, it's very traumatic," Montes said.
The truck driver, identified 47-year-old Raiford Reynolds of Winter Haven, would not comment to us about what happened, and a spokesperson for the Winter Haven-based Carpenter Contractors of America said they would not be releasing a statement.
FHP is still investigating this accident. Troopers said charges could be pending and are asking for any other witnesses to come forward with information.