Child Struck and Killed at Birthday Party

( – A three-year-old boy was struck and killed by a driver in the parking lot of a Play City parking lot in Chula Vista, Greater San Diego, California, while walking into his birthday party.

On May 27, Josiah Toleafoa was walking into Party City with his mother on the way to celebrate his third birthday party when he was struck and killed by an unidentified 36-year-old driver. The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities. Chula Vista Police Department stated that drugs and alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the incident.

One witness told reporters that the boy’s mother “sobbed” inconsolably while paramedics worked to save the child. Despite their efforts, the child passed away at Rady Children’s Hospital.

In the wake of the tragedy, the little boy’s family have started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover his funeral expenses. The owner of the Play City and his landlord agreed to donate $2,000 on behalf of the family.

Following the child’s death, safety concerns spiked in Chula Vista. Local mother and frequent area shopper Theresa Arrocha told media that it was a “heartbreaking” incident and that, as Arrocha is a parent herself, she can relate to the Toleafoa family. Arrocha explained that she was also in a hit and run incident in the same area, and stated that drivers speed erratically having no intention of “stopping.” In Arrocha’s view, the local area drivers don’t “care”.

Other local parents said that the tragedy has led them to pay closer attention to their children when crossing parking lots in the area.

Another local mother, Zara Zamudio, explained that she as a parent of a small girl knows that one could take their eyes off their child even for “just a second” and they may try to run and play. Because of this, the mother holds her child’s hand any time they are in local parking lots to ensure the toddler won’t run into the way of erratic parking lot traffic.

At the time of this report, the incident that killed Toleafoa was still undergoing investigation. No arrests had been made at the time of this report.

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