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Friday, Apr 20, 2018
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Toddler hit, killed by city vehicle, Tampa police say

TAMPA — A 2-year-old boy was hit and killed by a city water department truck Thursday night at Tampa Park Apartments near Ybor City, Tampa police said.

The crash happened about 8:40 p.m. when the child darted out between two vehicles, said Tampa Police Department spokeswoman Janelle McGregor.

McGregor said the driver, identified as 48-year-old Robert Fennell, was pulling out of the apartment complex at the time.

“He was unable to avoid hitting the 2-year-old child,’’ McGregor said.

The boy was identified as Demetric Lindsey. The toddler had turned 2 on Aug. 4. He lived in the complex at 1013 E. 7th Ave., McGregor said.

He was taken in critical condition to a local hospital, where he died, McGregor said.

McGregor said investigators were still interviewing the driver and witnesses. She said the vehicle belongs to the Tampa Water Department but it was not immediately clear whether Fennell was on duty at the time.

Fennell is cooperating with police, McGregor said. He was not issued a citation at the scene, but detectives continue to determine who was watching the child and how the crash occurred.

Police received a 911 call at 8:39 p.m.; when rescuers arrived, a security guard was performing CPR on the boy, McGregor said. She said Demetric was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“The driver is physically shaken, as are the community members,’’ McGregor said.

Ali Muhammad, the toddler’s cousin, said a family friend was watching Demetric while the boy’s mother ran errands. The friend was holding Demetric, but at some point the child got loose, Muhammad said.

The family friend was still at the scene late Thursday, crying loudly.

Muhammad said Demetric was a happy child.

“He was a joyous little boy. He always played and laughed,’’ Muhammad said.

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