ST. ROSE, La. - Mark Washington III, affectionately known as “Trey," was an energetic three-year-old who loved riding his bike and always had a smile.
“Baby Trey, he was everybody's angel. He was everybody's joy. He was my joy,” said grandfather Mark Washington.
But Wednesday afternoon, that joy turned to grief.
Trey was riding his bike at his apartment complex on Summerton Drive when he ran off the sidewalk and into a grassy area, said St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Patrick Yoes.
That’s when a dump truck getting ready to back into its usual spot across from the complex struck the toddler.
Authorities say an adult supervising Trey screamed for the driver to stop but it was already too late.
Now, a memorial grows in the spot where Trey was killed.
“All indications are it's a tragic accident, terrible for everyone involved,” said Yoes.
Trey’s family says the driver lives in the apartment complex and used to cut the toddler's hair.
“We forgive him. We forgive him. This is in the hands of the Lord,” said Washington.
Still, family members say the complex is normally packed with children, and they believe the driver could have been more cautious.
“I do think he should have been more careful,” said cousin Mariah Jackson. “It is a big truck. I do think he should have had a guide with him.”
The driver does not currently face charges because the incident appears to be an accident, but authorities are awaiting the results of a toxicology report.
Trey leaves behind a five-year-old sister. And his entire family is working to pull through the loss of their little boy.
“If I could say anything right now to him, I'd say let me hold you. Let me hug you,” said Washington.
“We will forever miss him. We love him and he will never be forgotten,” said Jackson.
The family needs help paying for unexpected funeral expenses.
If you would like to donate to the Mark Washington III memorial fund, you can do so at any branch of Capitol One.