MANATEE -- A 4-year-old girl was fatally injured about 12:20 p.m. Thursday when she was struck by a vehicle in the yard of her Samoset residence, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Daisy Martinez was taken to Blake Medical Center by EMS, where she was pronounced dead, FHP said. Neighbors said she died soon after the incident.
Daisy's mother, Gracie Moreno, 23, was driving the car, according to FHP.
"We heard the scream," said Anita Casimir who lives several houses away from the scene. "The mom was running with her baby in her arms."
Casimir said people from surrounding neighborhoods walked over after hearing the woman scream for help.
Sam Casimir, Anita's husband, ran down the street and attempted CPR.
"It made me really sad -- made me cry," Sam Casimir said. "I have little kids, too. The last person she looked at was me."
The Casimirs spoke with the victim's family as they arrived at the house.
"I've cried since it's happened. I have three little girls and can't imag
ine this happening," Anita Casimir said. "Two seconds and they're gone. It's just unbelievable."
Anita Casimir said her children played with the little girl and her siblings.
"They are good parents," she said.
"And good kids," Sam Casimir said, adding the children often played in their fenced yard. A tree house is perched in a corner of the property.
The neighbors believe the car's accelerator got stuck, causing the accident.
The front of the small gray car was resting against a chainlink fence and utility pole at the front of the property. The front door was ajar as investigators photographed the scene.
Further details, including the cause of the incident, will not be released until the FHP investigation is completed.
"One part of the investigation is going to be looking at the mechanical aspect of the vehicle," FHP Lt. Greg Bueno said.
No charges have been filed.
Elizabeth Johnson, Herald crime reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. Follow her on Twitter @EJohnsonBHcrime.