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9-Year-Old Fatally Struck While Riding Bike

6:50 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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Whitmire, SC (WLTX) -- A young boy was killed while riding his bike in the Midlands Monday evening.

The accident happened in the small town of Whitmire. The family just moved to the neighborhood, neighbors said.

"They had just moved within the past few (days)," said Mike Dillard.

Dillard owns the store next to where 9-year-old Bennett Dalton was killed. Neighbors said he had just gotten the bike he was riding on his birthday only days earlier.

"Something didn't sound right as I heard the truck, and saw it stopping," Dillard said,  "and the first thing I heard was someone come screaming in to 'call 9-11.' When I came out, there was a little kid who had been hurt, they said was hit by a truck." 

Investigators said that at 6:32 p.m. Monday, Dalton was riding his bike when he went a little too far. It led him into traffic as an 18-wheeler was going by.

Dalton was airlifted to Palmetto Richland for further treatment. He passed away at 9:09 p.m.

"We're all like a big family in this small town," said Mike Lindler, a Whitemire town resident of 32-years, "and when somebody hurts, we hurt."

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster took to Facebook to express his thoughts.

"Normally I post something that I think is witty and humorous or a line from a song that may cause some thought. Not today. Not today. Today is a day of introspective and a child to a horrible accident. May God rest his soul and may God be with this family," Foster wrote.

When asked his reasoning for writing something so candid, Foster said he was familiar with the family, and that the grandmother of the 9-year-old boy had worked as a 9-11 operator, and the Newberry County Chief Deputy Sheriff lives across the street from the family.

"The brother is the same age as my son," Foster said. 

The accident is currently under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. No charges are expected to be filed against the driver of the 18-wheeler, a spokesperson for the Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

The family has set up a fund to assist with the funeral costs of the child. It is at the First Citizens Bank of Whitmire under the "Michael Thomas for Bennett Dalton" name, according to Michael Thomas, the town's Fire Chief.

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