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Lebanon County community mourns boy run over by dad's truck just before 3rd birthday

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: May 08 2014 03:55:27 PM CDT
Updated On: May 08 2014 05:36:31 PM CDT
Boy killed in accident

Jon Rodriguez/69 News

HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. -

A community in Lebanon County is mourning the loss of a 2-year-old boy who police said was struck and killed by a truck driven by his father. 

The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the driveway of the family's home in the 200 block of North Market Street in Heidelberg Township, police said.

"I can't imagine how the father must feel," said Cynde Frankhouser.

Police have ruled the boy's death an accident. They said the father, identified as Meryle Ray Sensenig, 36, was backing the truck in when he backed over the little boy.

Neighbors told 69 News that the family has two other children. They said the little boy died just before his third birthday.

"It's very hard with kids… you have to constantly be watching them. You can't always do that but you have to because this day and age, everything is so fast-paced," said Frankhouser.

"It's just devastating," said Marlin Martin, the family's next-door neighbor. "They're just wonderful neighbors. We're all devastated."

Area residents told 69 News that the incident is a shock to the township, which is typically quiet and predominantly Mennonite.

"It's a deeply religious area," said Frankhouser. "I've never heard of anything in this area happening."

"It's just too bad that things like this happen," said Helen Kupp.

According to KidsAndCars.org, a public safety awareness site, this incident is at least the 28th nationwide in which a child was backed over and killed by a vehicle this year.