A toddler from Queens was crushed to death by a car on Sunday, Oct. 24, in a freak accident that has left many in the neighborhood, including the mother of the toddler, shocked and horrified by the tragic incident. 

After a pumpkin patch trip, Leilani Rosales, a two-year-old toddler from Queens, reportedly left her mom's side while she was unloading packages and walked in front of a 2021 Nissan Rogue owned by the 23-year-old boyfriend of the mother. When he began to drive away in the vehicle, she was accidentally struck by the car to the horror of her mother, the New York Daily News reported. 

“She walked in front of the car,” Sam Castellano, the 47-year-old grandfather of Leilani, said. “She’s 2 feet. You can’t see her. Her mother literally just had her hand, let go of it to grab packages, and she walked around the car.”

The mother and her boyfriend raced Leilani to Flushing Hospital, where she was said to be suffering from severe head injuries, but she was pronounced dead at the hospital when they arrived, according to the New York Post

“She literally just came from pumpkin patch picking,” Castellano said. “So that was her day. Spent it with her mom. She had face-painting that day and picked out a pumpkin. She was just coming home.”

The incident has shocked the neighbors, some of whom heard the cries of the mother as she struggled with the horror of the incident. One neighbor described the cries of the mother as “wailing,” as they talked about the grief that the mother felt.  

“They’re nice, good, people,” the neighbor said. “Beautiful little girl, happy little kid. I can’t even imagine. I just feel so bad for the mom.”

The mother of Leilani was a member of the military who returned to New York for work and school. Leilani’s father, who is deployed overseas for work in the military, has yet to know about the incident. 

“She’s coping,” Castellano said about the mother. “It’s a lot. We’re just trying to deal with it right now.”

The police will not be pressing charges against the boyfriend, as they see the incident as an accident.

juan-encalada-ibDqBhx8vqg-unsplash In a tragic accident, two-year-old Leilani Rosales was crushed by an SUV after her mother's boyfriend started his car without knowing where the child was. This is a representational image. Juan Encalada/Unsplash.