Local News

Harnett County boy dies on way to trick-or-treating

Posted November 1, 2010 11:27 a.m. EDT
Updated November 1, 2010 6:22 p.m. EDT

— A night of trick-or-treating turned tragic Sunday when a 5-year-old boy was killed in a wreck, authorities said Monday.

Blake Rogers, of 430 Heron Rogers Lane in Broadway, was riding in the back seat of the family car as his mother drove him to a neighborhood near his grandparents' house for Halloween.

"He was all ready to go trick-or-treating. He had a Spider-Man outfit," his father Richard Rogers, said Monday.

As his mother headed west on McNeil Road at about 6:15 p.m., farmer Randy Thomas turned left off of the road into his driveway, pulling a flatbed trailer behind him, authorities said.

The Saturn driven by Emilie Rogers slammed into the trailer. She said she couldn't see the trailer because the sun was in her eyes, authorities said.

Blake was still strapped in his car seat after the collision, but he wasn't moving.

"There was no scratches. It just looked like he was asleep," said Belinda Thomas, Randy Thomas' wife.

A driver who stopped felt a faint heartbeat and tried to resuscitate the boy, but he was pronounced dead at Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford.

The boy's body was sent to a medical examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Investigators with the state Highway Patrol are trying to figure out if anything was wrong with the car seat to have caused his fatal injuries.

Randy Thomas, 54, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to yield the right of way.

"He's all to pieces. He was real upset (Monday) morning," his wife said.

Emilie Rogers, 30, suffered minor injuries and was treated at the hospital and released. She was cited for driving with a revoked license, authorities said.

"He never failed to tell me that he loved me every day," Richard Rogers said of his son, noting that the two often watched cartoons and football together. “That’s what keeps me going right now. I know he loved me, and I loved him."