Local News

Police charge worker who failed to control truck that killed child

Posted December 26, 2016 2:33 p.m. EST
Updated December 26, 2016 11:11 p.m. EST

— Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said a 5-year-old boy hit by an unrestrained dump truck Monday afternoon has died.

Greg Tuttle, who lives in the neighborhood, said first responders told him that a construction worker left a dump truck unattended at the top of a hill on Dogwood Bloom Lane in the Forest Ridge subdivision. That worker, Alejandro Suarez, told first responders that he had set the brake on the truck only to see it rolling free.

Hillsborough police determined that Suarez, of 287 Spider Lily Lane in Angier, was responsible for controlling the truck, and they charged him Monday with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

”I mean, how could something like this happen," Tuttle said. "You just don’t ever think that something like this could ever actually happen. But accidents do happen, freak things happen. Apparently that’s what happened here."

Suarez was being held Monday evening in Orange County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond.

“At this point, we don’t believe the vehicle was properly secured,” Hampton said. “We will also be following up the investigation, looking at the mechanical condition of the vehicle and confirming all of the working relationships, regarding specifically which company the crew was working for.”

Investigators said they will look into the safety record of the construction company.

The truck rolled down the hill for about 100 yards, snapping overhead power lines before running into the home and hitting the boy, who was playing in a driveway.

The child was taken to Duke University Hospital and later died, Hampton said.