'She was a fun-loving little baby': family remembers Slidell toddler struck by truck

Caresse Jackman talks to family and neighbors of a toddler killed when she was hit by a truck near Slidell.

SLIDELL -- A family is trying to cope with the loss of a 17-month-old girl after the toddler was hit and killed by a truck Monday afternoon.

Video sent to Eyewitness News from a viewer shows the frantic and heartbreaking moments after 17-month-old Koreyana Kirsh was hit. First responders are seen trying to help the young child, while her family cried out in grief.

"She was a fun-loving little baby. She was a quick learner, and she was fast," Koreyana's aunt Kirara Kirsh said.

Investigators said shortly before 4 p.m. Monday, 21-year-old Shea Fitzgerald was driving down East Forest Drive in a large truck when Koreyana entered the roadway, going underneath the large vehicle.

The truck's back wheels rolled over the baby's body.

Listening to her little voice on her phone, Kirsh said she will miss her baby niece's bubbly personality.

"I loved the way she would say thank you," Kirsh said. "She'd say 'I love you!' or she'd simply smile. She'd run up and down the hallway. She was just a happy child." 

As word spread in the community, neighbors stopped by, dropping off flowers, giving the family hugs and their condolences.

'We're pretty much close knit. Everybody kind of knows everybody here," Slidell resident Jason LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc also said busy traffic coming in and out of the neighborhood is a big concern for people in the community.

"It impedes us from getting in and out," LeBlanc said. "And it also is a danger to the kids. Because when you're trying to back out and you can't necessarily see because not everybody has a rear-view camera."

Investigators said they don't believe speed or reckless driving is a contributing factor, however, they are still looking into the incident.

"No charges have been filed," Captain Daniel Seuzeneau with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said. "As with any fatal accident, the driver will be subject to a breathalyzer, as well as a blood or urine test." 

As the family prepares to say goodbye to their precious toddler, they are asking for everyone's support.

"Just prayers" Kirsh said. "That's it. Just for everybody to pray for us. And pray for the mother and the dad, my brother and his wife."

Seuzeneau said that Fitzgerald did not flee the scene, but drove a block away because family members were upset. "He immediately called police to let them know where he was," Seuzeneau said.

 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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