Alabama tot killed, mother injured in mall parking lot accident

A 3-year-old boy was killed and his mother injured when they were struck by a minivan in the parking lot of an Alabama mall recently.

The boy and his 23-year-old mother were hit about 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday night. The woman was taken to the hospital, where she was being treated for a broken leg and ankle. Her child was transported to Children's of Alabama, where he was pronounced dead about 8 p.m.

Police in Tuscaloosa are continuing to investigate the accident. The driver stopped at the scene and is cooperating, and she told authorities she didn't see the woman and little boy, according to a police spokeswoman. The investigation will look into how fast she was traveling or if she was distracted in any way.

"Investigators from our Accident Reconstruction Unit are doing an in-depth investigation into this to make sure they've covered all angles," the spokeswoman told the Tuscaloosa News.

She also said pedestrians and drivers must be on the lookout in parking lots.

"Drivers need to make sure there aren't any pedestrians in the area where they're driving," she told the newspaper. "You have to be aware of everything going on around you and be cautious of the speed limit as well."

The boy's family is heartbroken.

He "was so sweet," his grandmother said in a statement released to the newspaper. "He loved playing with his cousins and being around his family. During church service on Sundays, (he) would run around the church and just praise God. He was just a sweet, sweet child. We loved (him) so much. This is just such a difficult time for the family."

The boy's mother has a long road ahead of her, both in her physical and emotional recuperation. She also could need help with medical and funeral expenses. An experienced Alabama attorney could advise her about how to proceed.

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