Toddler struck by van dies
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A little boy's life took a tragic turn after getting struck on the street.
"They were at the park playing," said the victim's cousin. "Happy, all the kids were happy."
That happiness, turned to dark sadness, Sunday morning.
Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said his family was checking out of the Forum Hotel in Pompano Beach. Deshea was doing what little boys do. "He was playing with a ball," said his cousin. "Running behind the ball, and a guy that was driving a van, he was letting all the kids go by."
But at just a few feet tall, and chasing his toy in the parking lot, the van driver, Abaner Penetus, must not have seen Deshea. "I guess he didn't see when he must've kicked the ball back in the street and ran after it," said his cousin.
An empty, pink circle spray-painted on the parking lot surface marks the spot where the deputies said Penetus ran over the little boy. "I was just walking by," said Araxi Burrata, "and I thought he just fell, but I looked back again and thought he threw up. I looked back a third time, and I'm like, 'Oh, my gosh! He's on the floor.' I called everyone over. It's just so sad. I was on the sixth floor. I heard people screaming, so I knew something was wrong."
The toddler's grandmother, aunts, and older brother were all there. His tiny body was nearly lifeless. "No, not at all," said Burrata. "That's what got me really worried. He was just there."
"They actually got him to start back breathing," said his cousin.
Deshea Gordon clung to the last moments of his short life at Broward General Hospital, but his injuries were too intense to survive.
His mother rushed to Fort Lauderdale from Gainesville immediately. His 7-year-old brother gripped onto his grandmother and grandfather and pressed his tear-stained face into them for comfort. "He's taking it hard too, cause that was his only brother," said his cousin. "So, now to know that it's going to be to himself, by himself."
They stood traumatized outside the emergency room as little Deshea Gordon was taken away for the last time.
Police are still investigating, although it does appear to have been an accident.
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