ENCINITAS — Three-year-old Juan Ruiz died after a car struck him the morning of Nov. 1, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Juan was walking westbound on the sidewalk on Encinitas Boulevard with his mother, who was pushing his sibling in a stroller, said Sheriff’s Deputy David Loe.
They approached a driveway leading to the Essex Heights Apartments, and Juan dashed across the driveway. Loe said it’s believed Juan ran because the sight of a nearby bus made him excited.
At the same time, a 32-year-old man driving a Toyota Corolla was turning westbound onto Encinitas Boulevard from the Essex Heights Apartments’ driveway. The driver didn’t see Juan and hit him, according to Loe.
Loe said the driver wasn’t aware Juan was underneath the car until the mother pounded on one of the car’s windows. The driver immediately stopped. A witness and the driver pulled the boy out from underneath the vehicle.
Numerous witnesses called the Sheriff’s Department. Juan was transported to Scripps Encinitas Hospital and pronounced deceased.
The collision is being called an accident at this time. Drugs or alcohol weren’t involved, Loe said.
A portion of Encinitas Boulevard was closed for about four hours following the accident. The collision is under investigation by the Sheriff’s Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team.
Loe said Juan’s family and the driver are Encinitas residents.