Fund set up to help pay for Burial of 1-year-old killed by car while playing in driveway

Verianna Owens (right)
Verianna Owens (right)

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The family of a 1-year-old who died after being hit by a car has set up a fund to help pay for his burial.

Little Verianna Owens was struck and killed by a car Saturday afternoon while playing in a neighbor's driveway.

The tragic accident happened at 10306 Somerset.

When police arrived Owens was unresponsive. Owens was transported Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital by EMS where she died from her injuries.

She would have turned two-years-old on August 13th.

According to Cleveland Police, a 2007 Chrysler 300 driven by 40-year-old Ken Crawford was headed westbound on Somerset Avenue when Crawford attempted to turn into his driveway. A white van legally parked on the street just east of the driveway was obstructing Crawford's view, so he didn't see the baby playing when he pulled in.

Verianna Owens lived next door and was playing with a paper cup in the neighbor's driveway when she was hit. The toddler's mother, Cocoa Johnson was in her yard next door with her five-year-old daughter at the time.

Johnson says Verianna had placed a cup at the end of the driveway and bent over to get it. That's when Crawford ran her over with his car. According to Johnson, her five-year-old ran over to get her little sister out of the way but it was too late. "He wasn't watching where he was going" cried Cocoa.

James Nichols witnessed the heartbreaking incident and says "he couldn't have seen her."

Crawford remained on scene and cooperated with investigators after the accident. His mother, Betty Murray, spoke with 19 Action News saying her son always looked out for her as did everyone on the street. "How is he gonna deal with this now? He did not mean to hurt that baby" said Murray. "He's so distraught...he's talking about doing something to himself."

The incident remains under investigation and is being handled by the Cleveland Division of Police Accident Investigation Unit.

The official cause of death will be determined by the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office.

If you'd like to donate, you can do so at any US Bank.

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