NEW IBERIA — A 4-year-old boy died early Sunday morning after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver near East Admiral Doyle Drive and South Lewis Street, an official said Monday.
The Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office identified the boy as DeShawn Gilliam, of New Iberia. The parents were not identified.
The incident occurred about 1:15 a.m. after the boy, who was not restrained, left a vehicle when it pulled onto East Admiral Doyle, said Capt. Ryan Turner, spokesman for the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
A vehicle driven by Ulises Brooks, 48, 1502 Montagne St., New Iberia, struck the boy while traveling in the same direction, Turner said.
Brooks fled the scene and was later found at his home, Turner said.
Brooks was booked on one count of hit-and-run driving and could face additional counts pending toxicology tests.
The vehicle the boy was riding in was not being driven by the boy’s parents, although at least one parent was believed to be inside the vehicle, Turner said.
A spokesman for the state Department of Children and Family Services, Trey Williams, said Monday that his department had been contacted by deputies and is working with them on the case.
The crash occurred on the start of National Child Passenger Safety Week, which runs through Saturday.
According to a State Police news release, car seats, when properly installed and used, can reduce fatal injuries to children between the ages of 1 and 4 years by 54 percent.
And for every child killed in a crash, 18 others are hospitalized and another 400 receive medical treatment, the news release said.
Parents are asked to take advantage of statewide child safety seat check events Saturday to ensure their children are getting the best protection, the news release said.
For times and appointments, contact State Police Troop I at (337) 262-5880, or visit www.nthsa.gov for additional inspection station areas.