Toddler seriously injured when family car rolls into him and his mother

WORCESTER — An 18-month-old boy was seriously injured when he was apparently hit by the family car rolling down the driveway Friday afternoon.

The child and his mother were injured and taken by ambulance to a hospital. The mother suffered a shoulder injury, police said.

Investigators believe the car was unoccupied as it began to move down the family’s driveway on Chester Street in Worcester. The mother told police she was exiting the vehicle with her child when it started rolling backward on the sloping driveway and then struck the woman and her child.


The names of the victims were not released.

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The car, a bronze Chrysler, came to rest across the street on the lawn of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A pair of tennis shoes were strewn across the street.

A witness said he was driving by when he saw a woman screaming as she sat in the middle of the road holding a small child, who appeared unresponsive. He said that a woman who was jogging by stopped and identified herself as a lifeguard. She then performed CPR on the child until an ambulance crew arrived minutes later.

The driver said that the woman who had been holding the child called her husband, who arrived shortly afterward. When emergency personnel arrived, the child still appeared unresponsive, he said.


The witness said he took the child’s grandfather to get the couple’s daughter from preschool. He returned with them at about 3 p.m. After speaking with police for several minutes, the grandfather took the girl, who was holding a pink backpack, into the house.

Police had not determined what caused the car to move in reverse and planned to tow it to headquarters for a mechanical inspection.

The single-family Cape house is owned by Parker James Roaf, who bought the property in 2004, according to the assessor’s office. Roaf married Sheryl Lynn Fletcher in 2006, and according to the city’s data and confirmed by neighbors, the couple has a daughter who will turn 5 later this month.

The street was closed and traffic was backed up as school buses tried to maneuver around the scene. Residents were clearly shaken.

“They’re just the nicest couple,” said Fran Daley, whose grandchildren and the couple’s children have played together.