Family: "What Happened to My Child?"

6:59 PM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The family of seven year old Joshua Brown, who was hit and killed in front of a Midlands Elementary School, speaks out about his tragic death.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says Joshua Brown, 7, died Wednesday after he ran into the roadway and was hit. However, News19 has been told the little boy wasn't supposed to be in that area.

Richland School District One has confirmed to News19 that Brown was in fact supposed to be behind the school at the daycare pick up when he was hit in front of the school.

Previous Coverage: Child Struck by Vehicle Near School, Dies

Wednesday afternoon the Brown family received a phone call that their son had been in an accident. When his mom Wilhelmenia arrived to the hospital, she says it was too late to say goodbye.

"Oh God, have mercy Jesus. Have mercy. My baby never came home," said Wilhelmenia Groom, clasping a tissue inside her Columbia home.

The family of seven year old Joshua Brown say they can't imagine being with out the little boy who brought so much joy into their life.

"When you ask him who he is, he would say I'm Joshua Brown. I'm God's servant. That he was. That he was," said Wilhelmenia. "I would give anything to have my child back. This house is not home without Joshua. Joshua was the life in here. He made everything go around."

Now, they are asking tough questions. Why was their child walking home? And why was he walking in front of the school and behind it, instead of riding his Belvedere Day Care bus?

"I'm not putting anybody at blame," said Joshua's father Andrew Brown. "I just want to know what happened to my child? Basically, I want to know, why my child was where he was."

A makeshift memorial rests near the intersection where Brown was hit. Tyrell Robinson calls his brother Joshua a leader.

"God showed us the way through Joshua how to make ourselves humble. No matter what God will take care of everything," said Tyrell.

Joshua may never have come home, but this family says they'll get through it with each other, as they stay hopeful for answers.

"That's all I want to know is what happened to my baby? Why my baby was where he was when he should not have been there? Asked Wilhelmenia. "Where was everybody? That's all I want to know."

News19 wanted to know what was a first grader doing walking in the first place when he was supposed to ride a bus to day care? We caught up with the Richland One's communication director Karen York, who says there is a well defined dismissal plan they follow for their students.

"The students who do ride buses and vans are on the opposite side of the school. So yes, he would normally get on the van to goto day care on the opposite side of the school. The children who walk home are on the front half of the school. So again, we are trying to determine what happened yesterday," said York.

The Richland One school district says they are still working with the principal and faculty to figure out if any of the school's protocols were broken yesterday. They said they can't comment on exactly what happened yesterday until they finish their investigation.

Thursday morning, Richland School District One provided crisis team to three of their schools in the area, treating students and faculty who may have been affected by the passing of Joshua Brown.

There is no word on funeral arrangements at this time.

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