Driver Unknowingly Hits 7-Year-Old Boy Who Crawled Under Truck to Retrieve Ball

PHOTO: DAMIEN COKE/GOFUNDME

Police are investigating the tragic death of a 7-year-old boy who was struck by a truck while retrieving a ball underneath the vehicle. Kaiden Coke, from Ringgold, was playing with a ball in a private parking lot on School Street in Bienville Parish last Saturday.

The toy rolled under a parked 2011 Dodge Ram, prompting Coke to crawl underneath to retrieve it. Unaware of the child’s presence, the driver of the truck began to reverse, striking Coke in the process. Despite efforts to save him, Kaiden was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bienville Parish Coroner’s Office.

The driver of the Ram, who remained unidentified and uninjured, was not suspected of being intoxicated at the time of the incident, though samples were taken for testing. In response to the tragedy, family members launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover Kaidan’s cremation, funeral, and headstone expenses. Described as a joyful and loving child, Kaiden’s family seeks to honor his memory appropriately.

Local efforts to support the family included a fundraiser by Blessed Ink, a tattoo shop, and a planned balloon release by Ringgold Elementary School. The incident marks the fourth fatal crash investigated by Troop G of the LSP in 2024. With warmer months approaching, the LSP advised individuals to take precautions to reduce the risk of accidents, especially involving children.

Drivers were urged to thoroughly check their surroundings before reversing and not to rely solely on detection devices. Children were encouraged to remain visible to drivers and to avoid playing near vehicles altogether. By adhering to these safety measures, the LSP emphasized the importance of preventing tragic accidents and ensuring community safety.

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