Chelsea left reeling by toddler’s death

"This is a tragedy, a child that young."

Samira Garcia, 17, who works nearby, lights a candle for a 19-month-old boy who was killed Saturday after being struck by a vehicle near 74 Bellingham Street in Chelsea. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

An outpouring of grief has followed the death of a 19-month-old boy in Chelsea, where the toddler was struck by a livery vehicle on Saturday as he was out with his mother.

“This community is so small … You know everybody, so like one little tragic story, everybody’s [heartbroken],” Samira Garcia, 17, told The Boston Globe, as she visited the scene of a makeshift memorial near where the crash happened on Bellingham Street.

The boy, who has not been identified, suffered serious head injuries when he was hit around noon on Saturday, according to Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, who called the incident “absolutely heartbreaking.”


The child was struck by the driver of a Toyota C-HR who picked up a passenger moments before, according to the Globe.

He was brought to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver was identified only as a 45-year-old woman, the newspaper reported. She stayed at the scene following the crash and was brought to Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett after she said she was experiencing chest pain.

It was not known Saturday if the driver would face charges, the Globe reported.

At the crash scene, children’s toys, teddy bears, candles and flowers made up a memorial that lined a chain-link fence.


A man who lives in the area who did not want to be identified told the newspaper drivers often go too fast in the area. Belingham Street is located on a hill.

Marsha Johnson, who brought flowers, lives in Chelsea’s Prattville neighborhood and said traffic is always a safety concern.

“You always wonder in Chelsea, are there going to be kids coming out from the cars?,” she told the newspaper.

“In Chelsea… it’s a different culture. We kind of live on the street,” she added.

Firefighters were at the scene Sunday to clean up blood that remained on the pavement.


Firefighter Christian Avellaneda said the crash left first responders “teary-eyed.”

“This is a tragedy, a child that young,” he said.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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