on the way to the school bus.
Familiy pic of the kids in linkhttp://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/02/hit-and-run_driver_nabbed_less.html#incart_m-rpt-2
Driver faces manslaughter charges after hit-and-run death of schoolboy, age 6, struck while going to bus stop with siblings
Wilson, right, was fatally injured Monday morning in a hit-and-run near
his school bus stop in Gentilly. Sister Shanaya, left, suffered a minor
injury, while siblings Heaven and Shaun were unharmed. (Photo courtesy
of Carly Gibson)
A 22-year-old Gentilly man with a history of traffic violations was arrested Monday in connection with a hit-and-run that claimed the life of a 6-year-old schoolboy.
Wilson, a first-grade student at Akili Academy of New Orleans, was
fatally injured as he attempted to cross a street toward his school bus
stop with his brother and two sisters. As their horrified mother watched
from a few yards away, a car struck two of the four children crossing a
Paris Avenue intersection shortly after 7 a.m.
Witnesses said the
driver of the car stopped and watched for nearly two minutes. When the
boy's limp body was lifted off the street by a frantic relative, the
driver sped away. His older sister suffered minor injuries to an ear,
according to a distraught relative.
View full sizePolice
arrested Arthur Toledano, 22, on charges including manslaughter,
attempted manslaughter and hit-and-run in connection with the Monday
morning death of 6-year-old Shaud Wilson in Gentilly. (Photo courtesy of
Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office)
New Orleans police
launched a citywide search for a gray Honda Crosstour with front-end
damage, and located the car about 5 1/2 hours later outside a home in
the 1600 block of Charlton Drive, about 14 blocks from the crime scene.
Police said they arrested Arthur Toledano, booking him on charges of
manslaughter, attempted manslaughter, hit-and-run and reckless operation
of a motor vehicle.
member Carly Gibson identified the young victim as her cousin. She said
the boy was unresponsive after sustaining a broken left leg and severe
head injury when he was slammed several yards down Paris Avenue by the
speeding driver, who stuck around until her cousin Errol Martin lifted
the gravely injured child off the asphalt.
"Then (the driver) just rolled straight past him," Gibson said. "He almost
hit my cousin and Shaud again, trying to get out of the way.
"He got out of here. He saved himself. I think, to some degree, he had known he had killed him."
said Toledano had an unspecified history of traffic violations and
warrants. If convicted on all counts, he could face more than 40 years
prison. Manslaughter of a child under age 10 requires a minimum sentence
of at least 10 years.
"We are extremely saddened by the loss of
this young life," NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said in a statement.
"But I'm extremely happy that our traffic investigators acted very
swiftly with the evidence they received in making this arrest."
and crime lab technicians scoured Toledano's car for evidence, and to
match it with vehicle parts left strewn across the intersection of Paris
Avenue and Lafreniere Street earlier in the day. Among the debris
littering the street when police first arrived was a single black shoe
worn by the young victim.
Gibson said the boy's mother, Heather
Goeloe, was inconsolable after seeing two of her four children struck by
the car while she watched from the Paris Avenue neutral ground. Gibson
said the family's routine was for the mother to escort her children
halfway across the four-lane roadway, then let eldest son Shaun, 10,
lead his siblings across the final two lanes.
"She goes out there every
morning with them, rain or shine," Gibson said. "She walks them over to the
neutral ground, but then lets them go the rest of the way, you know, to give
them a little bit of independence. But she was out there with them and there
was nothing she could do but watch. It happened so fast, she
didn't even see it coming, to try to stop it and pull them back."
said it appeared the driver was coming off of the Interstate, flew
around a corner and hit the children. "He hit him hard ... real
hard," she said.
The car struck Shaud and his 9-year-old
sister Shanaya Wilson, narrowly missing older brother Shaun and their
5-year-old sister Heaven. Gibson said Shanaya suffered a bloody ear
Gibson said the gravely injured boy was carried into
his family's home on the 3500 block of Paris Avenue, but he never
Shaud Wilson, 6
"When we brought him in, his
eyes were open but he was out," Gibson said, sobbing. "We were trying, but
nobody knew how to get him back. When the paramedics got here, they got him
breathing again. I thought he was going to make it. But his mother, she could
tell he was gone before they left. You couldn't recognize him."
About an hour later, police
announced the boy had died of his injuries.
NOPD spokesman Officer Garry
Flot said investigators recovered parts from the Honda Crosstour at the scene,
indicating the car had sustained front-end damage. Interviews
with witnesses and video surveillance footage from nearby homes and businesses helped police identify the vehicle and driver.
"(The driver) got out of here
so fast, nobody could get a plate," Gibson said. "Everybody just saw the car,
and the person in it."
Gibson described Shaud as
playful, helpful, a devoted Saints fan and a straight-A student.
"He was a good child," she
said. "He was energetic, happy all the time. He loved his brothers and sisters.
He did anything for his mom. He was just a good kid, a very good kid."
said she wouldn't be surprised if her young cousin lost his life
performing one last selfless act as the car approached. "I think, more
than likely, Shaud
was trying to help (sister Shanaya)," Gibson said.
"(Shanaya) didn't even know
she was hurt. She was just concerned about her brother. They all were. ... It was
just horrible, trying to keep them calm, and trying to resuscitate Shaud, and
trying to console Heather all at the same time."
Gibson said the boy's father
lives in Texas. She said she usually helps Goeloe prepare the children for
school. But Monday, she was still in the house, tending to her own 7-year-old
who wasn't feeling well and was staying home from school.
Gibson said she couldn't
understand how the driver could stare out of his windshield at the gruesome scene before driving away without a word.
"I don't know if it was the
impact that made the car stop, or if he just stopped and just sat there," she
said. "Under the circumstances, it was too long for him to have sat there and
then just leave. Why would you stop, if you were going to do that? But he just
watched, then he ran, to save himself."
Kacie Fuselier, a spokesperson for Crescent City Schools,
said grief counselors had been dispatched to the Akili Academy and would
remain on-site this week to provide support for students and staff. The school sent a
letter home to families in the afternoon.
"Shaud was a beloved member of the Akili Academy student body and he
will be greatly missed by his teachers and classmates," the letter said.
"We are shocked and saddened by this loss and our teachers, staff and
students share in his family's grief. We will continue to support his
siblings and family in any way possible in the coming months."
Inside the family's home, Gibson clutched a tissue and
dabbed her eyes, staring at the hardwood floor of the living room where the boy
was treated. She said she had no idea how to comfort the boy's mother when she
"I don't know how she's going
to be or what to say to her," Gibson whispered. "I tried to clean everything
up, but I can't get his blood off the floor."