As little Lanard McDowell reached down to grab his pacifier on the evening of May 26, an unfortunate — but not criminal — string of events played out around him, the toddler’s father insists.
The 22-year-old dad, who shares his son’s name, was grabbing diapers out of a coworker’s Jeep, which was stopped in the street outside the family’s West Palm Beach home. Four of the boy’s siblings were playing in the fenced-in front yard. Their mother had stepped inside to use the restroom, McDowell recalled.
At about 5:30 that evening, McDowell’s coworker drove a Jeep away from the single-family home. The 2-year-old leaned into the road, reaching for the pacifier he’d dropped.
McDowell heard a “boom, boom,” according to city police records. Then he saw little Lanard in the road. The toddler was pronounced dead not long after.
McDowell can’t understand why his girlfriend and mother of their children, Abrianna Miller, was arrested on Thursday on a charge of manslaughter by culpable negligence in the little boy’s death.
“It’s not her fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not even the (driver’s) fault,” McDowell said Friday afternoon outside their home. “It’s a tragic accident.”
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