Ice Cream Truck Drivers React to Tragic Accident

Monday, June 12th 2006, 3:52 pm
By: News On 6

A 3-year old Tulsa boy is critically injured after running to an ice cream truck and being hit by an oncoming car.

The child is in intensive care, and the hospital is not releasing any information about his condition.

Police aren't ticketing the driver, saying it was a tragic accident.

But as News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin tells us, it's one ice cream sellers say can be prevented.

Tt's every driver's worst fear: a child so focused on getting ice cream they dart right into the path of an oncoming car.

Ice cream truck driver Debbie Beaver thought it would never happen to her.

"Oh I watched it, it was horrible," Beaver remembers, "that's the worst thing I could ever see in my life."

She says while the mother was waiting for change, the little girl ran out into the street.

"I thought she was dead," Beaver says. "There was no movement, nothing. She was dragged by the car, it was just horrible."

The child survived but it took Beaver awhile to be able to drive again.

When she heard about Sunday night's accident when a little boy running for ice cream was hit and critically injured, Beaver was devastated.

"I was just like, oh God, please let the kid be okay. And I kind of felt sorry for the driver of the other truck, cause I've been there," says Beaver.

Beaver says she wants drivers to look at it just like a school bus. When you see an ice cream truck and this sign is out, slow down and take a close look.

She says,"We do all we can to try to make it safe for the kids to come across and hopefully this 'll open up a few more adults' eyes."

EMSA medics say kids are also attracted to their flashing lights and sirens, so drivers are on alert.

Especially in the summer months when there are more children out in neighborhoods, many later in the evening than usual.