SOUTHAMPTON, N.J. (AP) — A toddler was killed and three people were in critical condition Wednesday after they were struck by a vehicle, apparently while pulling a red wagon, in southern New Jersey.
The preliminary investigation indicated they were walking along rural Buddtown Road in Southampton when they were hit at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday by a vehicle driven by Thomas Xenakis, of Southampton, State Police spokesman Capt. Stephen Jones said.
Jyonshiel Martinez, 2, died at a hospital little more than an hour later, Jones said, while Jairisa Galindo, 18, John Giles, 8, and Kahariel Martinez, 6, were in critical condition at Cooper Hospital in Camden.
A fifth person was not injured and was turned over to an adult. The person’s name and age have not been released.
The five live in the same apartment complex in Southampton, but Jones could not say whether they are related, even though two share the same last names.
The driver stopped and no charges have been filed while the accident remained under investigation, Jones said.
Police could not immediately confirm whether they were pulling the wagon, but TV news footage showed the damaged wagon at the scene.
Cheryl and Paul O’Neil heard a loud boom and came running from their home after the accident.
“We heard people just screaming at the top of their lungs. So we came running out and we saw them lying on the grass and in the road.” Cheryl O’Neil told WPVI-TV (http://6abc.cm/1J42Ub8 ) in Philadelphia.
“Besides the two kids lying on the side of the street, there was a girl lying in the middle of the street. The neighbor across the street was doing chest compressions on her,” Paul O’Neil said.
The O’Neils said the road lacks a shoulder.
“They had their whole lives ahead of them. They were so little. This tiny little red wagon with these tiny little kids. It was very hard to see,” Cheryl O’Neil said.