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Woman beaten after 1-year-old boy fatally struck by SUV identified

Detectives believe Mirlande Mardice didn't see boy

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – A woman who was beaten Sunday after she struck and killed a 1-year-old boy with her sport utility vehicle in Deerfield Beach has been identified.

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies identified the driver Tuesday as Mirlande Mardice.

Detectives said they believe Neallie Saxon Jr. III was playing with several other children outside a home on Northwest Fourth Place when a ball rolled or was thrown out of the yard, causing several children to chase after it.

Investigators said Mardice, 53, of Deerfield Beach, was traveling within the speed limit when the children ran into the roadway. Mardice's Hyundai Santa Fe struck Saxon.

Detectives believe that she was likely unaware of what happened, perhaps distracted by the other children running in and out of the roadway, and kept driving.

Witnesses told detectives that children often played outside without adult supervision, something the boy's grandmother, Caroline Chery, denied to Local 10 News.

Deputies said two people dragged Mardice out of her SUV and beat her. She was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Detectives are investigating the beating.