HUDSON, Fla. - A 4-year-old girl was struck by an SUV her mother was driving and succumbed to her injuries Wednesday afternoon, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
Michelle Ivancsists was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Troopers say Cathy Jo Ivancsists, 38, backed out of her driveway at 4906 Flowers Drive around 4 p.m. Michelle was also in the car.
Before accelerating, David Ivancsists ran out of the house to talk to his wife, troopers say. The couple talked for a bit and did not notice that Michelle opened the door and got out of the car.
According to troopers, she walked to the back of her mother's SUV.
Unaware her daughter was no longer in the car, Ivancsits drove off when she finished talking to her husband.
"I heard a bump, a boom, it sounded strange," said Trae Denney, a construction worker who was working on an apartment nearby. "I told my partner, 'God, tell me she didn't run that baby over.'
Ivancsits made it about 150 yards down the block before she noticed her husband and neighbors screaming. She stopped the car and ran back to cradle her daughter.
"The mother was holding her and I kept yelling at her to put her down, put her down, don't touch her, don't move her and she wouldn't listen. She said, 'I can't, I've got to pick her up,'" Denney recalled.
Denney described the little girl's mother as hysterical.
He said her father was in shock but managed to call 911.
Just around the block, an EMS crew was out on a call. Denney said he flagged them down and they rushed over to help the little girl.
FHP says this case remains under investigation and the mother could potentially be charged. Part of their investigation is to determine whether alcohol was a factor in this fatal accident.