Brothers struck by car during 'Santa Run' in Indian Harbour Beach

Boys airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

INDIAN HARBOUR BEACH, Fla. - Two brothers, ages 8 and 11, were critically injured Sunday night when they were struck by a vehicle while running to see Santa Claus, who was being escorted atop a firetruck in Indian Harbour Beach, police said.

The boys were hit by the vehicle on South Patrick Drive near Parkside Place.

The boys, identified by family as Verdell and Gregory, were airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. The boys, who attend Ocean Breeze Elementary, are in critical condition, Indian Harbour Beach police said.

Police said the boys had just left a church function at Gleason Park and were headed south when they ran into the path of the vehicle. No one in the car was injured.

No emergency vehicles were involved in the crash.

Indian Harbour Beach fire officials posted a message about the crash on the department's Facebook page.

"An accident occurred involving a vehicle that struck two children on South Patrick Drive in the area of Parkside Place while IHBVFD was out on the Santa Run," the message said. "Our apparatus were not involved in the accident, but (firefighters) did witness it occur."

According to the post, firefighters escorting Santa immediately stopped and assisted the children until Brevard County Fire Rescue officials arrived.

A sign posted on the victims' family's door asked for privacy.

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"We welcome your prayers for Verdell and Gregory as they recover from their injuries, prayers for the doctors and staff attending to their medical needs and prayers of comfort and love for our family in our time of need," the letter said.

Several Central Florida communities host events in which Santa visits neighborhoods while riding atop firetrucks.

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