HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Calls to 911 made after a 5-year-old boy was hit by a runaway dump truck Monday reveal an emotional and frantic scene outside a Hillsborough house.
Orange County Emergency Services released three 911 calls made to dispatchers just before 1 p.m. after Everett Copeland was hit by a runaway dump truck that came down a hill in the 200 block of Dogwood Bloom Lane, which is in the Forest Ridge neighborhood where new homes are being built.
One call was made by a man who said he was Copeland’s father and two calls were made by a woman who told dispatchers she was the boy’s mother.
In the 911 call made by the father, he tells the dispatcher that, “A truck hit my child.”
The caller told the dispatcher that the boy was in the yard when he was hit.
“Is he conscious?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, no no…he does have a pulse,” the man responded.
In one of the two calls made by the mother, she can be heard, clearly in disbelief, asking who was driving and what happened.
“Oh my god! What the hell? Who was driving? Who was the driver? Are you [expletive] kidding me? There was all of these…kids out here playing. Are you [expletive] kidding me?” she can be heard saying to friends and neighbors who ran to the scene.
She told dispatchers that one of their neighbors is a doctor and they were performing CPR on the child.
In another call, the mother can be heard trying to comfort her dying child.
“Mommy’s right here. I’ve always loved you, Everett. I’m right here, buddy,” she tells him. “Mama loves you. It’s OK buddy. You are always perfect.”
Copeland was transported to Duke University Hospital where he died.
Alejandro Suarez, 28, of 287 Spider Lily Lane in Angier, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle, Hillsborough town officials said.
Authorities said that the truck was being loaded with dirt at the time but that it “rolled away from its work area.”
The vehicle then rolled down a hill, hit a light pole and then hit the boy before crashing into the house at 205 Dogwood Bloom Lane.
“Suarez was determined to be responsible for control of the vehicle,” Hillsborough officials said.
Suarez was arrested and placed in Orange County Jail under a $10,000 secured bond.
Tony Wilbert, spokesman for the under-development neighborhood where the accident occurred, released a statement Tuesday:
Crescent Communities is saddened by the accident and child’s death [Monday] at the Forest Ridge community in Hillsborough. The accident involved construction equipment operated by a contractor hired by one of the community’s homebuilders. Because Hillsborough police have charged another company’s employee in the death, Crescent cannot comment on the actual events or criminal case. We are closely monitoring the situation and cooperating with authorities. Crescent cannot express strongly enough our sympathies for the child’s family and friends.”
A friend of the boy’s parents set up a GoFundMe to help with the funeral expenses. The GoFundMe states that Everett had a twin, Cate, and a little sister, Madeleine.