Family mourns 10-year-old Driver girl who died after being hit by pickup

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The 10-year-old girl run over by a pickup truck in Driver early this week died in the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters on Tuesday.

Heather Ellain Carter died around 10:55 a.m., a little more than 24 hours after being struck by a Ford F-150 outside her house in the 4300 block of Driver Lane. The accident happened at 8:15 a.m. Monday when the rising Driver Elementary School fourth-grader dashed into the truck’s path while chasing a neighbor’s dog across the street.

Although doctors had prepared them for the worst, family members and friends rallied around Heather in hopes of a miracle overnight Monday, said Roberta Johnson, the child’s aunt.

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Doctors told the family on Monday that she probably would not survive the accident.

Heather’s mother, Jane Carter, and her brothers – Billy Jones, 5; Sean Wallace, 7; Jimmy Hercher, 18; and Steven Hercher, 22 – are devastated by the accident, Johnson said.

&uot;Her mother has been taking it really hard,&uot; Johnson said. In addition to Heather’s accident, Carter – as well as her other siblings – is still trying to cope with the May 11th death of her mother.

Heather was a child who loved to laugh and play, recalled Johnson.

&uot;She was like the perfect child,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;She was so lively and wonderful to be around.

&uot;She was always able to put a glow into your eyes. And you wouldn’t believe that laugh. She made everyone around her laugh.&uot;

Heather and one of her two younger brothers were placed into foster care two years ago by the Suffolk Department of Social Services.

Johnson said she and Jane Carter last saw Heather two weeks ago during a social services visitation.