Troopers: 7-year-old boy on dirt bike killed in crash with tractor-trailer

Published: Jan. 1, 2014 at 7:03 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2014 at 7:05 PM EST
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CHESTER COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - An 18-wheeler hit and killed a little boy as he rode a dirt bike his parents gave him for Christmas.

The child celebrated his seventh birthday just two weeks ago.

Roy Brunson showed WBTV debris that's still laying in his front yard where seven-year-old Tristan Mericle died after a tractor-trailer struck him Tuesday evening.

"The lady who lives across the street yelled at me. She said Roy get outside! The little kid next door just got hit by a truck," said Brunson.

Troopers and Brunson say the seven-year-old was riding a dirt bike in his front yard and drove onto Highway 97, right into the path of the big rig, as he tried to turn the bike around.

"Nobody should have to go through anything like that or witness anything like that. It was just a horrific accident," said witness Bryan Henson.

Henson was out checking his mail and saw the accident unfold.

He now worries for his younger brother's safety because he too rides a dirt bike along Highway 97.

"I have a younger brother who's probably about ht e same age as him and I just see him over and over again in my mind, thinking that could have been my little brother," said Henson.

Brunson says the hardest part of this all is what happened just minutes before Mericle was struck, when the seven year old smiled and waved at him for the very first time.

"The saddest part is knowing that I just saw him, the first time I saw his face and then 15 minutes later, he's not here anymore," said Brunson.

WBTV stopped by the house to find out how the boy's family is doing, but no one was home.

The State Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash.

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