SOUTH MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - The devastated family of a 3-year-old boy who, authorities said, was struck and killed near a vendor’s stand in South Miami-Dade spoke out about the sudden Valentine’s Day tragedy.

Grieving loved ones on Saturday became emotional near the mangled rubble where, investigators said, Anthony De Leon lost his life in Friday afternoon’s crash.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” said Jacinto Santiago, the child’s uncle, through a translator.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the chaotic collision took place Friday afternoon along U.S. 1, near Southwest 304th Street, when the driver of a dark gray Dodge Charger lost control, plowed through the vendor, hit the toddler and pinned him underneath the car.

“He was accelerating too fast. That’s when he lost control,” said Santiago. “My brother was holding the toddler in his arms.”

Moments later, nearby witnesses like Jose Correa rushed to the child’s rescue.

“It was just bad, and we just tried to push him out,” said Correa, who works at a nearby auto repair shop.

After hearing the crash, Correa said, he raced over with a jack to move the car and try and pull the boy out.

Then we see all the blood. We couldn’t see the kid ’cause he car was pretty low, so we lifted it,” said Correa. “That’s when we saw the kid, That’s when we pulled him out, you know?”

The child was the rushed to the emergency room at Kendall Regional Medical Center in critical condition but died a short time later, authorities said.

The driver, identified as 42-year-old Hanskabell Amargos, remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Early Saturday morning, 7News cameras captured detectives back at the crime scene as they collected more evidence.

As their investigation continues, loved ones said they are using a makeshift memorial at the scene, filled with flowers and stuffed animals, to honor and remember a young life gone too soon.

​”We understand this was an accident, but he needs to face his responsibilities,” said Santiago. “We are leaving it all under the law’s hands. We are humans. We know how to forgive.”

Charges against Amargos are pending.

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