Police: Drunk driver charged after hitting young girl trick-or-treating with truck

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 1:02 PM EDT
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A 3-year-old girl and her mother were hit by a truck while trick-or-treating Tuesday evening.

"I hope nothing like this will ever happen again," the mother told WSAZ. "This was such a traumatizing experience for both of us."

Gregory Hackney, 50, of Steel, is charged with wanton endangerment, assault, reckless driving and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Elkhorn City Police say Hackney backed his truck into the little girl and the mother.

The little girl was hit in the head by the driver's side back bumper of the truck.

The child's grandfather, Danny Watson, raced to the scene after getting a phone call telling him what happened.

Watson says he was told other people started beating on the truck, yelling at the driver to stop after he'd hit the two.

"That's what saved their lives," Watson said. "If I had gotten here and it had been worse, he would've been hurting. It would've been over."

Police say Hackney had brought his wife and grandson to trick-or-treat.

He admitted to drinking alcohol to law enforcement and also failed two field sobriety tests.

An open alcohol container and five more closed containers were found in the truck.

According to the criminal complaint, two people were hit, including the little girl.

Elkhorn City Police Chief Bobby Sexton tells WSAZ the truck was "inches from killing her."

"This could've been more drastic and worse," Watson said. "My daughter and my granddaughter could've been gone."

The girl was taken to Pikeville Medical Center. The mother says they left the hospital about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Hackney was placed in the Pike County Detention Center.