9-year-old struck, killed by tractor trailer - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

9-year-old struck, killed by tractor trailer

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Whitmire residents are mourning the loss of a 9-year-old child who was killed Monday night when he was hit by an oncoming 18-wheeler.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says Bennett Dalton was riding his bicycle without a helmet when he rode into the truck's path on North Church Street.

Members of Bennett's family say the child had just received the bicycle as a birthday gift last week.

The family had also just moved into a home behind Joe's Market, which is along the main stretch of Whitmire.

The owner of the market, Michael Dillard, says he had been watching the boy on his bike, but he was in the back of the store when the accident occured. He knew something was wrong when someone came screaming into the store for help.

"They said the little kid had been hit by the truck on his bicycle. The first thing I saw was the red bicycle," said Dillard.

"I've got a little nephew, who just went in the door there, he's got a little red bicycle. So when I saw the little red bicycle, that was the first thought that crossed my mind. After that I saw the kid on the ground," said Dillard. "It was just horrible. A horrible thing."

This crash is still under investigation, though early indications are that the driver of the truck, who we're told is from out of state, won't be facing any charges.

But as the town mourns, they are also trying to lift the boy's family up.

"Everybody's been really supportive, but everybody just needs to pray for my sister, because she's taking this hard," said Kayla Cooper, Bennett's aunt.

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