Police say they were called to the home on Bittersweet Lane in Center Moriches, N.Y., on Friday morning for a report of a child who fell in a driveway, reports CBSN New York’s Jennifer McLogan.
The boy, identified by family as Thomas Valva, was rushed to Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue where he was pronounced dead.
“Tommy, his death is not going to go in vain,” said mother Justyna Valva. “I miss him so much.”
Justyna, who is in the midst of a divorce, said her children were in custody of their father and she worried about them.
“Thomas was this little 8-year-old boy, my baby, who always was joyful, always stands for the truth, play his cars, read books, loved songs,” she said.
Neighbors are calling it a mystery.
“It’s scary because you don’t expect anything to happen close to home,” said local resident Paul Hawkins. “This is supposed to be your safe spot.”
“It’s shocking, something you think would never happen in your own neighborhood,” said Lucia Russo.
Friends and family said they never noticed reckless behavior from Thomas.
“Sweet, he was a cute boy, but we are very sorry for the family of course,” said neighbor Chrissy Lauretta. “Our heart goes out to them.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the child’s funeral expenses. Neighbors on this close-knit block have started a “meal train” bringing food to the family as they all mourn.
The boy’s father released a statement through an attorney, which says, “As with any tragedy, our office and Mr. Valva are shocked and saddened to learn of the horrible accident that took the life of young Thomas Valva. We mourn his death with family and friends. Since Thomas’ parents are in a divorce we are unable to make any further comments at this time.”
The Suffolk County Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy and Suffolk Police expect to have more to say very soon, once that autopsy is completed.
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