Crime & Courts

Columbia toddler killed after being hit by car while crossing street with mom, cops say

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A 3-year-old was killed after being hit by a car Thursday at the intersection of two Columbia Streets, according to a statement from the Columbia Police Department.

The toddler, identified as Jayana Summers, was near the area of Duke Avenue and Lamar Street, an intersection in the Eau Clair section of town, when she was hit, according to the statement.

Summers died of blunt force trauma from the crash, according to the statement.

“Our hearts break for the family during their tremendous loss,” Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said, according to the statement. “These tragedies weigh heavy on officers and first responders and are especially difficult when they involve children.”

Columbia police were called to the area at about 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the statement. After conducting a preliminary investigation, officers believe a man driving a Dodge Avenger was traveling through Duke Avenue and hit Summers and her mother as the pair were crossing the road.

Summers’ 23-year-old mother was also injured during the crash, according to the statement. She was taken to a local hospital and is being treated for serious injuries.

The driver then crashed into a utility pole, according to the statement. Officers detained the drover and are waiting for results of a toxicology and sobriety exam, but they believe that the driver may have been fatigued.

The crash is still under investigation.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 32 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur between 8 pm and midnight. Here are a few simple tips to help keep yourself safe while walking near traffic.

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.