Toddler hit and killed by vehicle in northern Manatee County

Child Fatally Struck

PALMETTO, Fla. (WWSB) - A toddler child has died after being struck by a vehicle Friday morning in north Manatee County.

It happened around 11:15am on the 5500 block of 69th Street East in Palmetto. Florida Highway Patrol says 23-month-old Arayah Phillips was being watched by her grandparents when she darted out into the roadway and was struck by a vehicle traveling west.

Troopers say the driver had no time to react and struck Phillips, killing her.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Ken Watson said there are nothing but victims in this case.

“When a small child darts out in front of you, it’s almost impossible to stop a vehicle in time,” said Trooper Watson.

Troopers say speed is not believed to be a factor in this case and the driver of the vehicle, who stopped and is cooperating in the investigation, is devastated and needed medical attention.

Carrie Geartz, who lives 3 houses down from where this happened says 69th street east is a very busy road.

“There’s a lot of kids in all these neighborhoods. And people just fly down this road. I know a lot of people have tried to get (speed) reduce just because of the children” says Geartz.

Trooper Watson says it’s important to always be alert when your children are near any road

“That is why it is paramount that we keep an eye on our children. Keep an eye on everything when we are operating motor vehicles this is something that Florida Highway Patrol sees this way too much”. said Watson.

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