RANDALLSTOWN, Md. — It was the middle of the afternoon Sunday when a picnic celebration at Abundant Grace Baptist Church turned tragic.
Baltimore County Police Cpl. Shawn Vinson said 3-year-old Esther Ogunfuye was walking across Liberty Road near Wilmar Avenue when she was hit by an SUV.
Vinson said it appears the driver had no way to avoid hitting the child and that they weren’t under the influence. A man who just wanted to go by Tony saw the aftermath as people from the church and then first responders frantically tried to save her life.
"I kept my wife and my son out of the room so they didn’t see what was going on,” Tony said. “We’ve already lost our dog on this road as well. I didn’t want them further traumatized from the road itself because this road is really really scary to live on.”
Tony said church parishioners regularly park on the other side of the road, especially during special events. As he watched the frantic scene unfold the thoughts of all the people that speed and crossover lanes—disregarding traffic laws.
“It could have been my son,” Tony said. “We’re constantly worried about him running and playing in our front hard because of the road itself. He will stop and listen but if you just blink kids run so quick.”
Vinson confirmed that the child was alone in the road when she was hit.
“We’re trying to confirm the details as to what lead up to the child being alone,” said Vinson. "Where she ran away from her parents. What lead up to her being separated. Family members were close. They were at the scene of the accident, our officers spoke to the family."
While police work to figure out why she was alone hopes sidewalks and a lower speed limit are put in place to prevent another tragedy.
“The speed limited are here posted for a reason, it’s not a drag strip. There’s actually people here who don’t have a sidewalk to use,” said Tony. “Slow down pay attention. We’re not the only family here there’s plenty of neighbors down the road with kids too."
The driver did remain at the scene and is cooperating with police.
Crash investigators are currently working to determine if anyone was at fault and how the child ended up alone in the road.