A one-year-old girl was struck and tragically died after being hit by a car being driven by her uncle – who was already on probation for careless driving had his license suspended, police have said.
Vivian 'Vivi' Staples had been playing in the driveway at her home with a friend at the time of the tragic incident, her mum, Vanessa Goose, said.
Anthony J. Goose, 28, from Walker, Minnesota, US, had been visiting his family members at their home in Shingobee Township, when he backed up and hit her just before 5pm on Sunday, May 2, Cass County Sheriff's Office said.
Vanessa said Goose "was playing with her at first. Then he said he was leaving."
Authorities said they arrested Goose on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide shortly after he allegedly hit the girl after he briefly fled the scene.
He had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08%, the Sheriff's Office said.
Officers tried desperately to save little Vivi's life, but their efforts were sadly unsuccessful.
Vivian was behind her uncle's truck when he pulled out, according to Vanessa, who told the Star Tribune: "The way he pulled out was careless."
She added that her sister had told her that when Anthony Goose came back, "he acted like he didn't know what happened."
In a press release, Cass County Sheriff's Office said: "Deputies arrived and learned that a one-year-old juvenile female victim had been struck by a vehicle in a driveway at a residence.
"The vehicle had left the scene prior to Deputies’ arrival. Deputies immediately began first aid and lifesaving efforts."
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It went on: "The juvenile victim was transported to a nearby landing zone where lifesaving efforts were continued, but not successful. The juvenile was pronounced deceased."
The Department of Public Safety told the Star Tribune that Anthony had a revoked license at the time of the hit-and-run.
He had been cited on March 12 for careless driving and was imprisoned on March 25. A Beltrami District Judge sentenced him to 45 days in hail but later cut 27 days off that term, allowing Goose to be released on April 13 rather than May 9.
In tribute to her little girl, Vanessa Goose said Vivi "loved to play with her sisters and my brothers and my boyfriend." She recalled how Vivi loved cartoon characters, especially Mickey Mouse, saying, "She loved to dance to the music."
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