Police will not charge the driver of an SUV that struck and killed a 2-year-old boy Wednesday in east Columbus, investigators said.
The driver, Ondra L. Williams, pulled away from a house and accidentally struck Christian Bell, a toddler who walked out into the street and was hit by the back wheel of the vehicle, police said.
Sgt. Tim Wynn of the Columbus Police Department said the size of the vehicle made it less likely that Williams could have seen the child.
“It’s just a tragedy,” Wynn said. “This is one that rocks you to the core -- all of us out there it did. That’s about as bad as it gets there.”
Williams had just dropped the child off at his family’s house. Wynn said Williams was not related to the boy but that his son was dating the boy’s mother.
The accident happened about 4:15 p.m. on West Park Court, a small cul-de-sac south of Carver Park. Neighbors said they heard screaming and saw a man carrying the injured child up the street to meet an ambulance.
Leon David, a 17-year-old neighbor, said he saw the driver of the SUV beating on the grass and saying repeatedly, “I didn’t mean to hit him. He was supposed to be inside.”
Christian was rushed to The Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about 5:15 p.m. An autopsy conducted Thursday showed Christian died of blunt force trauma to the head, Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower said.
Though no charges are pending, Wynn said the case remains under investigation.
Efforts to reach Williams were unsuccessful Thursday.