LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A 5-year-old Lakeland boy was hit by a vehicle Thursday night while riding his bike outside his neighbor’s house. The little boy later died at the hospital.
It happened in the 1100 block of Saddlewood Boulevard around 4:45 p.m. Austin Crawford was hit by a pick-up truck as he played with his 8-year-old sister, Abigale.
Neighbors, along with Austin’s mother’s fiance, performed CPR on the little boy. Paramedics arrived and brought Austin to Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
“I mean it’s understandable,” said Philip Dagan, who lives right next door to the family.
Dagan was one of the neighbors who performed CPR. “It’s one of the worst things you could ever see,” he said.
Dagan came home late Thursday afternoon to find Austin in front of his house. “It’s hell,” he said about the accident. “The little boy that you see all the time playing that’s happy and something like that happens, horrific.”
Robin Helton’s 5-year-old grandson went to school with Austin. “And my little grandson just said, ‘But, Nana, he’s in a better place,’” Helton said as she began to cry. “He’s 5-years-old.”
Some neighbors say this could have been prevented. They told News Channel they see people speeding up and down Saddlewood Boulevard. Someone needs to do something about it, neighbors said.
“I swear when they hit my house, they do 60,” Helton said. “They gun their vehicles.”
“I have a little 4-and-a-half-year-old boy,” said Dagan, who said she has asked for speed bumps to be installed on the road. “I won’t even let him play in the front yard at all. I have it fenced in.”
On Thursday the focus was on a young life taken way too soon. “My heart, my heart, my heart breaks for them,” Dagan said.
The truck’s driver is fully cooperating with the investigation.