KY child killed in "freak accident" while mom parked car

SOMERSET, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Hours after the lights and police were gone, neighbors at the SomerPlace Apartments couldn't help but stand and stare in disbelief.

"It's just a freak accident," said neighbor Angie Rodriguez.

The "freak accident" happened at the apartment complex on South Main Street in Somerset. That's where police say three-year-old Shannon Colton Norris was hit by a car driven by his mother.

Police say Brittany Helton, of Burnside, was trying to park a 1992 Honda Civic, with a standard transmission, when the car lurched forward pinning the child against the front door. The child was later pronounced dead at the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital by the Pulaski County coroner.

"This is not a case where somebody was doing anything wrong, it's just a very tragic, tragic accident," stated Detective Chris Gates of the Somerset Police Department.

"My heart aches for the family," Rodriguez added, "I wouldn't wish that on anybody."

Police say some witnesses rushed over immediately to help push the car away from the little boy.

"I don't know if she (the mother) was not aware of how the vehicle works or if she was test driving it," said Detective Gates.

Investigators say this accident even happened with the child standing by other family members.

"It wasn't as if the child was out playing alone and no one saw it," said Gates, "the mother just came in and parked the car."

The child may have only been three-years-old, but he left a lasting impression on these people in Somerset.

"He was the sweetest kid ever," described Rodriguez.

Police say they have towed away the car to inspect it for any defects that may have lead to the accident.


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
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