Five-year-old Autumn Mack was dressed like a princess Halloween night. But an angel may have been a better costume for the kindergarten student, struck by a vehicle and killed while trick-or-treating in DeKalb County.
“She loved to sing, she loved to dance. She made everybody happy,” Autumn’s mother, Yolanda Jones, said Friday. “She was a little angel.”
Autumn was with a group of children and parents when she stepped in front of a moving minivan around 7 p.m. Thursday, according to police. Jones told Channel 2 Action News she immediately ran to her daughter’s side in the middle of Pepperdine Drive.
“She squeezed my hand as long as she could,” Jones said. “I told her, ‘don’t move.’ And she tried to talk and I told her, ‘Don’t talk.’ Mommy knows she loves her.”
But Autumn’s injuries were too severe. The Chapel Hill Elementary student died after being transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.
Children are twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, a global organization committed to prevent accidental childhood injury. But Autumn’s death is the first involving a metro child in recent years.
On Friday, family, friends and the community struggled with the loss of a child due to what police said was an accident. Autumn was standing behind her mother’s parked SUV before darting into the road, into the path of a minivan. Orange circles drawn on the concrete showed where Autumn was struck.
No charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the minivan, who was not impaired or speeding at the time of the accident. The driver remained at the scene of incident, which was also witnessed by other trick-or-treaters and neighbors.
At Chapel Hill Elementary, grief counselors met with Autumn’s classmates, faculty and staff, DeKalb County Schools spokesman Quinn Hudson said Friday.
Funeral arrangements for Autumn have not yet been announced.
— Chelsea Cariker contributed to this report.
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