Community mourning after death of 4-year-old boy hit by car

Zayden Francis, 4, was crossing parking lot alone when car hit him, police say

SAN ANTONIO – People at a West Side apartment complex are in mourning after the death of a four-year-old boy.

Some have dropped off items at a memorial in Zayden Francis’ memory inside the gated apartment complex in the 400 block of N. General McMullen where he lived.

Zayden died Thursday from injuries he suffered in the Tuesday evening crash.

Police say Zayden had wandered outside his home to go to this playground inside his gated apartment complex. He was hit by a car in the parking lot as he headed home. (KSAT 12 News)

San Antonio police say the preschooler had wandered outside on his own to go to a playground across the parking lot from his family’s apartment.

On his way home, he was hit by a car.

Police say the driver is not facing any charges. However, they say the accident is still under investigation.

“He was so adorable. He was a cute little kid. He was so nice. He always said hi,” said Michael English, a neighbor. “It was just a terrible, terrible situation.”

English said Zayden was a familiar face around the apartment complex.

“This little kid, we always saw him walking around by himself,” he said.

Another neighbor, Rosanne Alvarado, said she is friendly with Zayden’s parents.

She told KSAT 12 News that while others blame them for what happened, she does not believe it was their fault.

A sign in memory of Zayden Francis is attached to a tree steps away from his home and from the site where he was hit by a car. (KSAT 12 News)

Alvarado said the parents had taken steps in the past to keep their son from leaving their home alone.

“He had a habit of opening the door,” Alvarado said. “(The parents) said that they had their special lock. So that’s why they’re upset because the complex took it off.”

KSAT 12 News attempted to visit and call the management office at the Bexar Crest apartments for a response to Alvarado’s claim that the complex had removed an extra lock from the family’s front door.

Although a sign on the office door indicated the visit was within business hours, it appeared no staff members were inside.

No one responded to a message left on voicemail.

The death, meanwhile, left Michael English hoping that people might be more aware, especially when they’re behind the wheel of a car.

“You never can predict what little kids are going to do,” he said. “They don’t understand the dangers.”

About the Authors

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

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