by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:
BUCKLEY, Wash - Investigators spent hours Monday night trying to figure out how a 78-year-old man drove his pickup truck off Highway 410 and onto a paved biking trail, killing a 2-year-old boy being pulled in a wagon by his father.
Buckley police told KIRO 7 the driver knows he ran over the wagon and the boy, he just doesn’t remember how it happened. Police are investigating whether a medical issue or prescription medication played a role in the collision.
After hitting the boy and leaving the wagon in pieces, the 78-year-old driver slammed his truck into a utility pole. Eyewitnesses told KIRO 7 the driver got out of his mangled truck, walked over to the spot where he hit the boy, and then returned to his truck.
Todd Kibbey, a former firefighter and a paramedic, ran across the street, and used CPR to try to save the boy’s life. “That kid’s a fighter,” Kibbey said. “He gave it all he had."
Kibbey says he was joined by Wanda McArthur, a respiratory therapist who was driving to work on Highway 410 when she saw the collision. Kibbey says he asked the boy's father to encourage his son--whose name was Lincoln, to breathe.
“The boy’s father was right down next to us, holding the boy’s hand, trying to talk to his son,” Kibbey said. “I mean the boy was a fighter too. Every time we'd say ‘Come on Lincoln, you can do this, you got it, dig deep and take a breath.’ He tried with everything he had."
Eyewitnesses say the boy's father was walking with a youth minister from Mount Rainier Christian Center when the truck came speeding up behind them. They say the father tried to pull the wagon out of the way.
“He probably didn't have any time to react," said Buckley police chief Jim Arsanto, who told KIRO 7 the man was being treated and questioned at a nearby hospital.
“The cause of the accident at this time is still under investigation, Arsanto said. “Alcohol has been ruled out at this time as not being a contributing factor to the accident."
But KIRO 7 cameras captured images of detectives pulling out large amounts of prescription pills from the truck. Detectives photographed each bottle, and each different pill.
Kibbey says the boy began breathing several times during CPR, and he fought to live. “You have to give it to that little guy, he tried to hold on.”