HILLSBOROUGH, NC (The News & Observer) – Recordings of 911 calls reveal a frantic scene in which a neighbor administered CPR to try to save a boy who had been hit Monday by a construction truck. The man accused of leaving the truck unattended made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Alejandro Suarez, 28, of Angier is charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in Everett Copeland’s death. Suarez is accused of leaving the truck running unattended in the under-construction Forest Ridge subdivision and not effectively securing the parking brake.
Everett was outside on Dogwood Bloom Lane when the truck full of dirt rolled, struck him and crashed into a house.
Bill Young, a Raleigh-based attorney who is representing Suarez, said his client is “soul-crushing disturbed by even being remotely connected, if he is, to something like this. I think he has been very cooperative.”
Suarez told police he is not a U.S. citizen, Hillsborough town spokesman Jonathan Rickard said Wednesday. Suarez told them he is a Mexican citizen.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a detainer Monday for Suarez. The agency said Suarez was in the country illegally and had a 2009 conviction for driving under the influence.
The detainer would allow federal officials to take Suarez into custody before being released on bail, but ICE spokesman Thomas Byrd would not speak more specifically on Suarez’s case.
Three 911 calls placed after the incident reveal an emotional scene in which Everett’s mother tried to comfort him and a doctor performed CPR.
“Mommy’s right here. … I’ve always loved you,” the mother can be heard saying in one call to Orange County Emergency Services.
In another call, an unidentified male tells a dispatcher that a truck “hit my child.” When asked whether the boy was conscious, the caller said, “No. No … no.”
The boy’s mother told a dispatcher during one call, “I think he’s dead.”
A third 911 caller cried and cursed, saying “a car came through our yard and hit a little boy.” She also said a neighbor who is a doctor was performing CPR and that Everett, who lived with his parents, a twin sister and a younger sister, had a pulse.
Police are working to identify the company Suarez was working for. Typically, homebuilders and developers hire contractors to do work for them.
Rickard, the town spokesman, said construction workers provided a company name, and paperwork was found in the truck. But police have not spoken to anyone at the company, and Rickard would not name the company.
The truck is registered to a private party, Rickard said. Police don’t know if there is a connection between the owner of the truck and the work it was being used for at the subdivision.
Crescent Communities, the developer of the Forest Ridge subdivision, is trying to determine which of its four homebuilders hired the contractor that was working Monday.