The incident happened the day after Christmas in a subdivision that is still in the process of being built. An unmanned truck that was being loaded with dirt “became loose and rolled down the hill,” said Hillsborough spokeswoman Catherine Wright.
The truck rolled down a hill, snapped overhead power lines, and through several yards before crashing into the side of a house.
Several children were playing soccer in the driveway of the home before it was hit, and 5-year-old William Copeland was unable to get out of the way. He was struck by the truck and died from his injuries.
Police determined Alejandro Suarez was responsible for the truck and ensuring it was properly secured, and charged him with misdemeanor death by vehicle. He was booked into the Orange County Jail on a $10,000 secured bond.
“We will also be following up the investigation, looking at the mechanical condition of the vehicle and confirming all of the working relationships, regarding specifically which company the crew was working for,” said Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton.
Crescent Communities is listed as the developer for the subdivision and Tony Wilbert, a spokesperson for the company, issued the following statement:
Tags: Accident, construction, Crime, North Carolina, truck, William Copeland
“Crescent Communities is saddened by the accident and child’s death today at the Forest Ridge community in Hillsborough. The accident involved construction equipment operated by a contractor hired by one of the community’s homebuilders. Because Hillsborough police have charged another company’s employee in the death, Crescent cannot comment on the actual events or criminal case. We are closely monitoring the situation and cooperating with authorities. Crescent cannot express strongly enough our sympathies for the child’s family and friends.”