Driver not charged in what police call ‘a tragic accident’
Mark Washington III, known as “Trey,” loved to ride his blue electric bike with training wheels near Summerton Drive in St. Rose while his mother waited for his older sister to get off the school bus.
He had done it plenty of times.
But Wednesday, the 3-year-old boy’s carefree ride ended in tragedy when a dump truck struck and killed him, authorities and family members said.
Trey was riding his bike on the sidewalk when he turned into a patch of grass.
Family members say they believe he lost control of the bike and rode underneath the dump truck, which was backing up while trying to park.
He was killed instantly, authorities said.
The 40-year-old driver of the dump truck, who lives nearby, stopped when he saw a woman in his side mirror screaming to get his attention. It was too late.
Capt. Pat Yoes, a spokesman for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, said the driver of the dump truck — who was not identified — was not arrested.
“All indications are that it appears to be just a tragic accident,” Yoes said.
There was no indication that the driver was impaired at the time of the accident, Yoes said, but investigators are awaiting for the results of toxicology tests.
A day after the accident, the boy’s cousin, Mariah Jackson, recalled Trey as being “full of charisma.”
He enjoyed playing football and practicing karate, she said. He was taking karate lessons, and last week he broke a board for the first time, on his first try, she said.
Family members who gathered at a nearby apartment said they were familiar with the driver of the dump truck.
He used to cut the boy’s hair, they said. When he got out of the truck, he immediately asked, “Where’s Trey?” Jackson said.
The boy’s mother, Javonda Washington, was standing nearby, waiting for her 5-year-old daughter, Makayla, to get off the bus.
By Thursday, a makeshift memorial had been set up at the scene of the accident, with stuffed animals, small toys and the words “R.I.P. Trey” spray-painted on the sidewalk.
The boy’s aunt, Lynnell Handy, expressed concern that the driver might not have been paying attention, a hazard in a busy area where kids often play. She also wondered aloud whether the truck was too large to be driving on the neighborhood’s narrow streets.
“It was just a horrible accident,” she said with a heavy sigh. “It could’ve been anybody’s kid.”