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1-year-old killed, mom critically hurt after being dragged by car in Daytona Beach

85-year-old man crossed median, struck woman pushing stroller, police say

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A 1-year-old was killed and her 24-year-old mother was critically injured after being struck by a vehicle Monday in Daytona Beach, police said.

The fatal crash happened at Williamson Boulevard and Bent Tree Drive.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said he is trying to wrap his mind around the tragic crash.

Authorities said Christian Sims was taking an afternoon walk with her daughter, Iris, when they were hit by a car driven by Ray Beams, 85. 

Beams, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, was reported missing out of Port Orange a short time before the crash, officials said.

Beams was driving a Mercury near Williamson and Bent Tree Drive when his car slammed into the back of an SUV, police said. The impact forced the SUV to flip twice.

Beams then crossed four lanes of traffic, a median, a grass buffer and ditch and slammed into Sims and her daughter on the sidewalk. 

"You're dealing with an Alzheimer patient. You don't know, when he hit her, was he knocked unconscious? Did he have any idea what was going on?" Chitwood said.

Neighbors tried rescuing the toddler from under the car, but she did not survive.

Sims was sent to Halifax Hospital in very serious condition. Beams is also in serious condition. The woman in the SUV escaped mostly without injury. 

The crushed stroller haunted Chitwood.

"How many of us have pushed a stroller on the side of the road, and you would never in a million years think that something like this could happen," Chitwood said. "When you look at that stroller, if you don't have anything in your heart to tell you how tragic this is, if it doesn't tug at your heart strings, there's something wrong with you."

 

 

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story. 

 

 

 


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