By STEVE SOUTHWELL
At approximately 1:50 p.m. Sunday, eight year-old Alex Ramirez was struck by a car. He later died of his injuries.
The accident happened at the Northwood mobile home park at 402 E. Hwy 121. Captain Mike Lane of the Lewisville Police Department said that three boys were playing between the houses when they somehow stirred up a wasp nest.
The victim took off running, darting into the path of a car, and was struck.
The driver, a 20 year-old female, did stop to help. Lane said she was very upset. Police radio traffic indicated that the woman did not have a drivers license.
Amelia Garcia said she came outside her home when she heard the commotion. Alex’s father had picked the boy up, and he was bleeding profusely. She said the child had a head wound and that he was injured on his right side.
They laid the child down in her front yard.
She said the child’s father did not speak English, so she dialed 9-1-1.
Orlando Lara, 11, said he and Alex and their friend Gabriel Arencibia, 12 were playing on his porch just before the accident. Gabriel said that Alex saw a wasp nest and threw a bottle at it. The wasps chased Alex, who ran out from between the trailers.
Alex ran into the street where where the driver struck him. He said he thought she was speeding.
Orlando pointed to a paint mark on the street where the impact happened. “That’s where he was hit,” he said. He pointed down the street about 20-25 yards to another paint mark that was adjacent to a blood stain. “She dragged him down there.” (Police did not believe he was dragged, though he did end up at that location.)
Garcia said she had wanted to clean up the blood, but that police told her to leave it, because they wanted to photograph it. (The fire department would later clean it up.)
Gabriel and Orlando both said the woman was driving fast. “How can you not feel the impact of running over someone, and taking them three houses down?” Gabriel said.
“No one really respects speed limits here,” said Gabriel. “Knowing that children are playing, and they just don’t care.” Gabriel said he and his friends thought the driver was speeding. He pointed out a speed limit sign right in front of the trailer where the incident happened that says “Speed limit 10.”
Several residents that LTJ spoke to indicated that speeding was a problem in the park.
Even if the driver was going over the posted 10 mph speed limit, Lane said police can’t enforce it because it’s on private property.
“You can’t really enforce it. The only thing you can enforce is reckless driving,” said Lane.
“Even if they were doing 20 [mph], you know, the common limit in a school zone, it’s much more the recklessness than the numerical speed value.”
Lane said that although the driver of the car that hit Alex had no drivers license, the accident happened on private property, and she cannot be charged with a crime for that. Instead, he said, she was cited for operating a vehicle without insurance. Her car was towed away.
“Intoxication and excessive speed did not appear to be contributing factors,” said Lane, referring to the investigator’s initial assessment. Lane said that the driver was offered a sobriety test, as is standard in fatality cases, but that she declined. The test was not mandatory, because police did not believe her actions contributed to the crash.
“This was a very tragic event, but the driver simply wasn’t at fault in this case. I feel for the family,” said Lane. “I can only imagine how they seek some form of justice for their son’s death but it would be a miscarriage to prosecute this young woman.”
Orlando said he had known Alex for about 3 years, and that they normally play tag, soccer, and basketball together. “He was nice,” said Orlando of his young friend.
Gabriel said he had known Alex for 2-3 years and that they would get together every day, and would often play soccer behind the houses.
“Alex was my best friend,” said Gabriel. “He was like a little brother.”
Alex was transported via ambulance to Medical Center of Lewisville. The plan was to have PHI air ambulance transport him via helicopter to Children’s Hospital, but his injuries were so severe that they decided instead to treat him at Lewisville. He died in the hospital.
Lane said the accident is still under investigation, and that the investigator on the case should have a report ready within the next 10 days.
A friend of the family has created a Gofundme page to raise money to help the family with funeral expenses. The Lewisville Texan Journal attempted to contact the organizer to verify it, but had not received a response at press time. The fundraiser has so far $7,285 out of the $10,000 goal.