By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
As the Atmore community continues to mourn the October 31 death of 3-year-old Rickey Rydell Lyons III, more details have come out that provide clarification of the tragic incident that cost the youngster his life.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks told a Mobile television station the teen who accidentally backed over the youngster was not at Lil Angels Development Center to pick up her two young brothers as was initially reported.
Instead, the police chief said, the 15-year-old was dropped off at the daycare center, located at the junction of Fillmore Drive and Rockaway Creek Road, by a school bus. The teen, who had just obtained her Alabama Learners Permit the previous day, was given the keys to an SUV that was parked near the western driveway of the facility and asked by an unidentified adult to pull the vehicle around to the front of the building.
When she began to move the SUV, unaware that her two siblings had followed her, the 3-year-old was struck. He died before emergency medical personnel could arrive to try and save him. The other child was not injured.
Cadena Curtis, the children’s mother, was at work in Pensacola and unaware of the tragedy until she received a phone call telling her that she was needed at the daycare center immediately.
Curtis said by phone this week that the loss of her child was “heart-wrenching” but noted that she “was in no condition to talk about it right now.”
She told another media outlet last week the ordeal was the “most trying time of (her) life” and that her family’s lives had “been turned upside down.”
The police chief said APD and Department of Human Resources investigators, once they had completed their probe, would “sit down with the District Attorney,” who would decide whether or not the case will be presented to the next county grand jury.
“That’s routine,” Brooks said. “Anytime a death occurs, we have to present the case to the DA.”
Family and friends have established a GoFundMe account to help raise funds for the youngster’s funeral service and interment. Those wishing to help may do so by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/f/cadena-lyons-and-family.