Anchorage toddler struck, killed by van driven by mother

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Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2005

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A 2-year-old boy died after he was struck by a van driven by his mother.

The van driven by Bertha Loon, 32, struck and killed Jesse Hugh shortly before 8 p.m. Monday in a Muldoon neighborhood.

The boy's father was watching the toddler and his siblings, said police Sgt. Glen Daily.

As Loon backed out of the driveway, the child ran to the street alongside the van. Loon stopped and pulled forward and the boy apparently ran in front of the van. He was knocked to the ground and run over, police said.

Loon was unaware of the boy's presence until she felt the impact, got out and discovered her son lying in the road, police said.

Neighbor Michael Reich, a former volunteer firefighter with medical training, ran to help the child and felt his chest.

''I knew there was nothing I could do for him,'' Reich said.

The boy was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

''There were a lot of kids here, and a lot of people saw it,'' Reich said. ''It was bad, real bad.''

The accident was the second such traffic death in the last 18 months, police said.

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