On Friday, February 14, 2-year-old Anthony De Leon died after being pinned under a car that crashed into a vendor tent.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) say the boy was with his mother, who was selling Valentine’s Day gifts in a parking lot vendor tent. A 2019 Dodge Charger, driven by 42-year-old Hanskabell Amargos, was heading north on U.S. 1 near Southwest 296th Street a little before 1 PM. For unknown reasons, the car veered into the parking lot and crashed into the tent. Sadly, De Leon was pinned under the car. Bystanders rushed to help, including the owner of a nearby auto body shop, who ran over with a jack and tried to get the car off the little boy. First responders arrived and took De Leon to a local medical center, where he later died.
Sadly, Florida leads the nation in deaths of pedestrians being hit by cars. These accidents typically happen on or near roadways, but as we see in this case, people in parking lots may be killed if a car veers off the road for any reason.
Annually, the US averages nearly 400 children a year killed from being hit by a car. Most are not in tents when this happens, but their short stature makes them difficult to see. Drivers are always advised to look carefully, especially in parking lots where young children may dart out from between a row of cars unexpectedly.