A 2-year-old Key Largo boy was killed early Tuesday morning after being struck by a vehicle at mile marker 99 on U.S. 1.
The parents of Austen Mark Alward called the Monroe Sheriff’s Office just after midnight to report they had been searching for their son and could not find him.
The family lives downstairs on Sunset Boulevard in Key Largo. The boy’s grandparents live upstairs.
Neighbor Rolphe Griffin was surprised at the tragedy because the front gate is always locked.
“I always see kids running around, but the gates are closed,” he said.
Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Florida Highway Patrol and Customs and Border Protection in the area searched the home and surrounding area for about 20 minutes before the child was found.
He had been struck by a car on the southbound side of the highway and was lying in the median, according to police.
Alward was taken to Mariner’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Deputy John Gabay stopped a 2013 Hyundai Sonata at mile marker 23. The driver of the vehicle, Edward Krajewski, 63, from Pennsylvania, told the deputy he thought he may have hit something around mile marker 99.
FHP spokesman Trooper Joe Sanchez said Krajewski is not in custody, but FHP investigators are discussing possible charges with State Attorney Catherine Vogel's office. Sanchez said investigators are not concerned the driver will leave the area.