A toddler was struck and killed by a pickup truck Monday evening as he rushed from his front yard into the path of the truck, authorities said.
An excited Malachi Bennett, who would have turned 3 on April 3, saw his father coming and ran into the street to greet him when the crash happened, witnesses said.
“I saw him run up in the yard, but I never see him run out,” said grandmother Margarie Thompson. “It just happened so quick.”
Thompson said she didn’t see him get hit, but knew right away what happened.
She had turned her back for just an instant.
“I heard the sound and I looked and there he was. I couldn’t even pick him up,” Thompson said.
The crash happened around 4 p.m. in front of Thompson’s house in the 100 block of NW 7th Avenue.
Witnesses said the driver wasn’t speeding.
“He was barely moving,” said Allen Williams, “You could see the truck when it ran over him it went up like it was going over a speed bump.”
Family members drove Malachi to Bethesda Memorial Hospital and doctors tried to save him but he was rushed to the Trauma Unit at Delray Medical Center, where he died.
Relatives described Malachi as a mama’s boy.
“He was a loving little boy, an outspoken little boy,” said Annette Potts, a cousin.
The family said they have a strong faith that will get them through this trying time.
“We know we are going to lean on God and even if we don’t understand it now,” said Thompson. “The word says we will understand it by and by.”
Police have not identified the driver but witnesses identified him as George Johnson from Delray Shores.
Police said the driver of the truck is cooperating with them. No charges have been filed and the investigation is continuing.
Reach the reporter at Jschwartz@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.