3-year-old hit by distracted driver dies from injuries

- A 3-year-old girl, who was hit while walking along a roadway with her mother and two siblings, has died according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Three of the four were hit Friday when, Troopers say, a man distracted by a dropped cigarette, lost control and ran into them.

The mother, 35, was in stable condition Saturday morning and her 12-month-old boy was in critical condition. The third child, a 6-year-old girl, was not hurt. 

Florida Highway Patrol arrested the driver, 26-year-old William Perkins, and charged him with driving on a suspended license resulting in serious injury and was ticketed for careless driving. FHP said charges may be added or amended as conditions change.

It happened just before 5 p.m. on 3300 Neff Lake Road near Dauphin Drive, Hernando County Fire Rescue said. The three victims were taken to St. Joseph's hospital by helicopters. 

Meanwhile, neighbors of the family were shocked to hear what happened to the mom and her children. 

Robert Bryant said he saw them just a few days ago, after a fishing trip.

"In the past, we fished on the lake, mowing the lawn and waving at us in the boat. We'd fish and show it to the kids. The mother that was injured actually took a picture of a seven pound bass we caught the other day," Bryant said. "Our prayers are for them and that everybody involved, the poor guy that had the accident and ran into them. My heart goes out to him. You look down for a second and look up and all of a sudden you have run over people. Makes you realize how important it is to pay attention to what you're doing."


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