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Manatee toddler killed in accident

MANATEE — Spanish-speaking Maggie Sanizo, a mother of four small children, didn’t need an interpreter to answer a question about what her neighbors were going through Sunday in the wake of the death of their infant son.

“Terrible sadness,” said Sanizo, who lives a few doors down at Manatee Woods Apartments from Miguel A. Aragon-Castro and his wife.

The couple’s 1-year-old son, Miguel Aragon-Figueroa, died after being pinned between the family car and a wall Saturday night, after Aragon-Castro reported to authorities that the vehicle lunged forward when he started it, according to Florida Highway Patrol reports.

FHP reports say the toddler died when Aragon-Castro’s 2000 Hyundai lurched forward over a curb and pinned the toddler between the vehicle and a wall in the apartment complex, in the 400 block of 34th Avenue Drive East.

Sanizo’s daughter, Nancy Vasquez, said she looked out the door and saw the car had jumped the curb.

“I saw it up here on the sidewalk,” Vasquez said.

Family members said Aragon-Castro started his car in front of his apartment at around 11:20 p.m. in order to get his wife at work.

When he jumped out of the car to run back inside the apartment and get his two sons, the car lurched forward against the apartment wall, neighbors told Bay News 9. Aragon-Castro was walking around the car, looking for damage, when he noticed his young son pinned between the car and the wall..

Family members said Aragon-Castro, 32, was inconsolable after the accident.

FHP reports said Aragon-Castro was parked soutbound in the parking lot when he attempted to start the engine of his car. The report said the car “lunged forward and drove up and over the curb.”

At the same time, the toddler had left the family’s apartment with his brother and walked in front of the car, FHP reported. No skid marks were found at the scene, according to FHP reports.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies provided crowd control during the accident, said Lt. Christine Thomason, a shift commander on duty Sunday.

“I know it was a tragic accident,” Thomason said. “All I can say is that it was really rainy and a toddler was hit by a car.”

The crash is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 708-7917.