Child Hit, Killed Near Ice Cream Van

7-year-old Ayania Murrell had gone to an ice cream van, parked across the street

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ayania Murrell had just celebrated her seventh birthday on Wednesday. On Friday, she was struck and killed by a truck while crossing Iona Drive in Emerald Hills.

    "It's horrifying, nobody wants to lose their child," said the girl's Godmother Yolanda Bulls.

    Child Hit, Killed Near Ice Cream Van

    [DGO] Child Hit, Killed Near Ice Cream Van
    Ayania Murrell had just celebrated her seventh birthday on Wednesday. (Published Saturday, Apr 3, 2010)

    San Diego Police investigators said Ayania had gone to an ice cream truck that was parked across the street from her babysitter's home. After leaving the ice cream truck, she ran across the road and right into the path of a white truck.

    "We do know for a fact that the driver is not under the influence, has a valid driver's license," said Sgt. Art Doherty.

    Investigators said the driver of the white truck wasn't speeding when he passed the ice cream truck and hit Ayania. But friends of the victim's mother questioned why the driver didn't stop behind the ice cream truck until all the kids were gone.

    "Common sense," said neighbor Shonnel Bulls.  "We all know there are kids and there's a sign on the back of the truck that says ‘Caution’."

    But police investigators said unlike school buses, drivers don't have to stop behind ice cream trucks. They also said it doesn't appear the driver of the white truck crossed the double yellow lines that divide the road.  Although, the driver did admit he had to drive on the lines to squeeze by the ice cream truck.

    Sgt. Doherty said it appears the driver of the white truck didn't have a chance to stop in time. 

    "Anytime a child darts from the curbside, it's a blind side," he said.

    Witnesses said the driver of the white truck had his three kids with him and he appeared to be extremely upset. 

    "He was really scared saying, ‘I hope the girl doesn't die’," said neighbor Melissa Ibanez.

    For several hours police searched for the driver of the ice cream truck because he had left the scene before being interviewed by investigators.

    He was located later in the evening and questioned about the accident. Investigators said he is only considered a witness.