Buckley family forgives driver who killed their child
BUCKLEY, Wash. -- Members of the grieving family of a little boy killed on a walking trail say they forgive the driver of the pickup truck.
The tribute for little Lincoln Person grows at the site along Highway 410 in Buckley, where the toddler was run over Monday afternoon. Now the question of whether the elderly driver will be charged.
"Lincoln was a special little guy named after the president and dad's buddy," said family pastor Greg Daulton.
Jason Person was pulling Lincoln in a wagon on a popular walking trail when a pickup with a 78-year-old man behind the wheel came up onto the trail and ran over the little boy.
Brittany McCauley drove by just moments later,
"(We saw) the older guy standing there and we saw the baby laying there lifeless on the ground and they're giving it CPR and it's just heartbreaking to see that," McCauley said.
The memorial at the site has steadily grown over the past 24 hours, with friends and total strangers dropping off flowers and well wishes for Jason and Robin, who is a third grade teacher in town.
"I just want them to know that they're in our prayers and we're so sorry," said well wisher Donna Dolhay.
While the Person's are in seclusion, their pastor is speaking on their behalf.
"Jason and Robin first of all want to thank the community for the outpouring of love and support they've receive in the last 24 hours," said Pastor Daultry. "This tragedy hit just as weeks after celebrating the birth of a daughter, Ruby. "So little Ruby had a big brother for a couple of weeks."
The elderly driver was treated and released from the hospital and was allowed to go home instead of being arrested.
"There was not the evidence necessary to arrest him on the scene," said Buckley police chief Jim Arsanto. "It's going to take a very lengthy investigation to figure out the exact cause of the accident."
Police are trying to determine if a doctor ordered the 78-year-man not to drive. If so, there could be charges. If not, it might just go down as a tragic accident. Either way the Person's are a devout christian family with a message.
"They want the family to know that they're forgiven," said Daultry. "They understand that tragedies happen."
Several hundred community members gathered for a Tuesday night vigil to remember Lincoln. They told stories and spoke about how their faith will hold them and Lincoln's family together.
"This is the day that I've like cried the most," said fifth grader Josephene Lyness. "It's just really sad, but I bet Lincoln is really happy up there. He's in a better place now."