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Belleville toddler killed in parking lot

By Marc Venema

A two-and-a-half-year-old boy was killed in Belleville Tuesday night after being struck by a vehicle in an apartment parking lot.

“He was crunched down in the driveway at one of the puddles trying to fill his squirt gun up with water,” said Sue Burley, superintendent of the apartment buildings at 24 Union Street, the site of the accident.

“I was in the building so I didn’t see what happened,” Burley said Wednesday morning. “I heard ambulances and that’s what made me come downstairs. I came downstairs to complete panic, ambulances, police cars, people panicking, people a little on the hysterical side.”

Belleville Police said they were called to the parking lot around 8:20 p.m. after a vehicle driven by a 41-year-old man struck the child. Police said they’re investigating. The names of the victim and the driver have not been released.

Burley said the driver is not a tenant at the building and was there visiting someone.

In a press release, police say the child was struck as the driver attempted to park.

Burley said although she didn’t see it happen, she heard from other tenants that the man driving the vehicle got in his parked car and backed out, running over the child, who was about 20 feet away.

“Tenants tried to give him CPR, the ambulances came and tried to give him CPR, they tried shocking him but he was completely run over by both front and back tires,” Burley said. “The poor little guy.”

Burley said the boy’s family didn’t live in the apartments. They were there visiting his grandmother.

The mood at the apartment buildings, located just south of College Street West, was grim on Wednesday morning.

“Everybody’s really in shock today,” Burley said.

Amanda Dyk, a mother of a ten-month-old girl, was one of the tenants visibly upset.

“It hurts,” Dyk said. “My emotions are still running high. It’s not fair for the family, he was too young.”

Dyk, who has lived at the apartments for the last five years, said she wasn’t outside at the time of the collision but ran out when she saw people running by.

“I seen a little boy on the ground getting CPR,” Dyk said.

Although, it’s still unknown what happened, Dyk did say that some drivers use excessive speed in the parking lot.

“Cars need to slow down,” Dyk said. “I have complained multiple times.”

Belleville Police Sgt. Julie Forestell would not say if charges would be laid.

“It’s way too early in the investigation to be speaking about that,” Forestell said.

Dyk and Burley said emergency vehicles were on scene until about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning and that the vehicle involved was towed away by a flatbed tow truck.

A post mortem examination will be conducted in Ottawa today.

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