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No charges filed in boy's death at Erwin Christmas parade

Posted December 8, 2011

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— Police said Thursday that no charges will be filed in connection with the death of a 3-year-old boy Monday night at the conclusion of Erwin's Christmas parade.

Cullen Reese Parker was walking with his family through a parking lot after the parade when he was hit by a car. He died at Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital.

Police said Laura Turner, 21, of Edwin, was trying to exit the parking lot after getting off work and didn't see the boy.


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  • janertew Dec 9, 2011

    People you do NOT need to judge these parents. They were walking ON THE SIDEWALK not in a parking lot, he was not behind the car. She was coming out of an alley. As far as being on the phone a witness said she was on her cell phone. Yes it was a terrible accident but young people need to learn to leave these phones alone when they are in a car. When she was yelled at to stop she reversed and backed over him again so even though it is a tragic accident I think she bears responsibility.

  • bigbadbill Dec 9, 2011

    I agree you have to hold them tight - far too many fools driving in vehicles that quite often are too large for them to see anything out of. I have a son that age and although he whines ad infinitum about it I would rather he tag me as the bad guy then to get hit by some Escalade driving twit with two hands on their phone texting about the deal they just found at Dillards. Especially this time of year - the shopping zombies are out in full force. RIP to this young boy and condolences to the parents who I am sure will be haunted by this event forever.

  • Disabled Vet Dec 9, 2011

    Another excellent reason to have back up cameras. I have a mini van and a full size pick up truck. Both are nearly impossible to see a small person behind the vehicle. I installed back up cameras and back up alarms on both. The first day after installing them on the van, we went to the store. When we started to back out of the parking space, after looking, we say a child in the camera jumping out of the way because of the noise the back up alarm was was making. I am not saying that this is the perfect answer, but it sure does help.

  • thinkin out loud Dec 9, 2011

    babbleon, you are as wrong as you can be. Though I understand how hard headed a child can be (raised 3 and have grand kids now too) and sometimes they pull harder than you expect and break away, it is still ultimately the parents responsibility to hold that child. Yes things happen and this is a sad tragedy, but in reality parents can be charged for failing to protect there child. Its called Child endangerment and it is case specific as to exactly what events took place that caused or could have caused injury. I don't know the specifics of this case so it may not apply here.

  • UPTOP Dec 8, 2011

    From my understanding , the driver had waited patiently for the family to go by before pulling out of her parking space , I have backed out several times only to stop short realizing a pet or child was running by. The family passed by first ! the child came behind them ! Accidents happen ! this is just a tragedy all the way around !!

  • dae66 Dec 8, 2011

    You MUST hold onto your children at all times. I had a very active son and now four year old grandson. Even if you have to hold them tighter than is comfortable for them.. DO IT! Yes, even if it hurts a little! YOU are the adult and they do not understand the dangers.

  • koolady Dec 8, 2011

    Such a tragedy. Children need to be taught from the get go that they are to hold their parents hands walking to and from the car. Parking lots are dangerous places. Parents need to hold onto their little ones at all times.

  • babbleon Dec 8, 2011

    All you who are blaming the parents for not holding hands: shame on you!

    I work very hard to keep hold of my 4yo son's hand in public places, but it's not always possible. You weren't there, you don't know what happened. Your ignorance is not a good basis for judging.

    Again, my sympathy to all involved.

  • bettyboop40 Dec 8, 2011

    ecufan2588 i didn't read that she was on the phone; where did you get that information?
    Prayers to all! They're all going to need it! RIP little one!!

  • babbleon Dec 8, 2011

    My sympathy to all involved.