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Neallie Junior Saxon III chased the ball out of his yard and into the street moments before the SUV hit him.
The toddler, who would have been 2 in December, was shorter than the bumper of the 2007 four-door Hyundai Santa Fe SUV. Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies said it was unlikely the woman driving would have seen the little boy, especially with all the other kids running around in the road.
Neallie was airlifted to Broward Health Medical Center just after 5 p.m. on Sunday. He died in the hospital.
His mother posted a selfie of herself and her only son on Facebook Monday morning with an emotional message about her “pride and joy.”
“Never would I thought I’ll be sending my baby boy to Heaven. Never thought that this would be last picture we took together,” she wrote. “I love you Neallie mommy really does.”
The violence didn’t end with the toddler. Deputies said the driver, whose name they withheld “for her safety,” didn’t realize she hit a child, so she kept driving at the same speed. When she slowed for the stop sign at the end of NW Fourth Place, she was yanked from her car and beaten by a crowd of people.
“They beat her unmercifully,” witness Anthony Clay told Local10.
BSO said she was treated at a local hospital for fractures to her face and head. Detectives are investigating the battery and the crash.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact BSO THI Detective Donnard Huneke at 954-321-4842 or Broward Crime Stoppers, anonymously, at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or www.browardcrimestoppers.org.