MELBOURNE, Fla. - A toddler is dead, and a mom is fighting for her life after they were both hit by a car – just feet from their front door.
This happened on Sunday night near Dairy Road and Hall Street in Melbourne. Police are still investigating the crash, and people in the area are devastated.
Melbourne Police say the family was dropped off near their home that faces Dairy Road. A family friend tells FOX 35 they had a trailer hitched to their car that didn't fit in the driveway, so they stopped in the middle turn lane to let everyone out. The toddler got away from his parents and was hit and killed by a car.
On Monday, flowers and broken glass mark the spot where a 3-year-old boy named Cayden lost his life.
"That to me is just really devastating because I have a 3-year-old of my own," said Zakyrah Williams, who drives Dairy Road often and sees how busy it gets with several lanes of traffic.
The news hits close to home for Williams, who knows how fast kids can get away.
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"It really just takes everybody being really observant, vigilant for all those kinds of things, for us to try and prevent things like this," the mom added.
Melbourne Police say the crash happened around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. The toddler slipped out of mom's hands and ran into the road. That's when the mom also raced into traffic, and both were hit by a Honda Pilot. The child died, and the mom had serious injuries. She is still in the hospital.
"They just fly through there," said Bryan Leary who lives near Dairy Road.
The father of three girls is devastated but not necessarily surprised. He says Dairy Road is dangerous.
"I see glass on the road all the time there, so something needs to be done to slow the traffic down," he added.
With the sun setting earlier, parents are asking drivers to keep their eyes peeled for kids near traffic. Some are using this tragedy as a teaching moment to hopefully prevent another death.
"I want to tell you something," Williams said to her 3-year-old daughter. "Do you know what just told me? She just told me a little child ran out into the middle of the road back there last night. They got hit by a car and they died. Look at me, they were the same age as you."
FOX 35 spoke with a family friend who says the family is asking for privacy as they process this tragedy. They’ve also started a fundraiser to help pay for funeral expenses. Click HERE to access a GoFundMe account.