Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The family of a little boy who died after a vehicle hit him is calling it a terrible accident.
Two-year-old Henry Gonzalez Lucas died Thursday evening on a street outside his home in Corcoran.
Family members said he was underneath a van when the accident happened. The driver didn’t realize he was under the vehicle and started to drive away.
Much of the extended family lives in the same area. Henry’s grandmother, Juana Gonzalez, talked to WCCO through an interpreter.
“Everybody loved him. He was a really good boy,” Gonzalez said via interpreter.
One day is not enough time to have healed the loss of her grandson.
“He would come up to them and kiss her hand whenever he saw them. He loved his grandparents,” she said.
Henry Gonzalez Lucas was like any toddler: curious, active and always wanting to play. Thursday night was no different, besides the fact that it was his 2nd birthday.
“He was with his mom and his grandma. We were all here eating. He had just gone outside when everything happened in one minute,” she said.
According to the family, the driver pulled away from the home not realizing Henry was underneath the van.
He died instantly.
“It was an accident,” she said.
On Friday, neighbors started contributing to a growing memorial not far from where the accident happened. The loss is not just affecting his family but the entire community.
Brian Dejewski of Mobile Hope, an organization that works to build supportive communities in mobile home parks, says this tragedy affects several families.
“The family is very networked throughout the community here, and there are multiple families that have been impacted. Beyond that, there were a lot of kids that saw the accident,” Dejewski said.
Family members say the support helps them through the overwhelming grief, and they hope that other parents learn from their loss.
“Take care of their kids and enjoy them…because they don’t know when they are going to be taken away,” Gonzalez said via interpreter.
A memorial fund for the family has been set up at the Wells Fargo Bank in Medina, under the “Henry Gonzales Benefit Trust.”