DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A boy who was struck by a sport utility vehicle Sunday afternoon in Deerfield Beach has died, his grandmother told Local 10 News.
Caroline Chery said Monday that her 1-year-old grandson, Neallie Saxon Jr. III, died at Broward Health Medical Center.
Chery said her grandson wandered into the street outside her home on Northwest Fourth Place while her family prepared to celebrate her 10-year-old grandson's birthday.
"I asked my son to come out here and help his sister get some of the stuff to have at the party so that we can get back to church," Chery said.
However, Broward Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Gina Carter said witnesses told detectives that the children "often played outside without adult supervision, as they were on this occasion."
Authorities said Neallie and other children were playing basketball shortly before the crash.
Detectives believe that the ball rolled or was thrown into the street, causing the children to chase it into the roadway.
Chery denies claims that her grandson ever played outside unsupervised.
"Whoever is saying that -- my grandkids-- anybody will tell you, they don't play in the road. That's what all this is back here for," Chery said.
Family members and witnesses said the driver didn't stop after she struck the boy with her SUV.
As some family members performed CPR on Neallie, others chased after the driver, catching up to the SUV at the end of the block.
"They beat her unmercifully," witness Anthony Clay said.
The driver was also taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries, which included several fractures to her face and head.
"She would have left," Chery said of the driver. "She had no intentions of stopping."
Carter said the boy was shorter than the vehicle's bumper, and detectives believe it is unlikely that he would have been visible from the driver's perspective.
BSO detectives are investigating the crash and the attack on the driver.
Authorities said they have not yet identified the people involved in the attack.
"My grandbaby is lying over there lifeless, but everybody is putting all the focus on that she was battered. What about my grandbaby?" Chery said.
The driver's identity is being withheld by deputies for her safety, authorities said.