CPS investigating death of Denison 14-month-old

By: Ruth Baker Email
By: Ruth Baker Email

DENISON, Tex. – A Denison family is dealing with the pain of losing a 14-month old child. Now Child Protective Services are stepping in. Zachary Ellis Duncan died on Sunday after being hit by a car while playing in puddles in front of his home. His mother was also hurt in that accident after trying to save her child.

Family members tell us Child Protective Services is looking into what happened. It's not the first time mother Victoria Neasbitt and her children have been involved with CPS.

Ruby O’Neal says Zachary’s mother and her sister-in-law, Victoria Neasbitt "is not a bad mother” and that “she did what she could to take care of her children."

Neasbitt's family is grieving for the loss of Zachary, but they're also defending the actions of his mother.

"She’s in the hospital with injuries sustained from trying to save her son's life."

Denison police are still investigating details surrounding Sunday’s accident and have already charged the driver, Terri Perdew, with manslaughter.

As for Zachary’s mother, the family says the single mom had just gotten back on her feet after losing her job, regaining custody of her children weeks prior to the accident.

According to a CPS case file, three children were removed from the home last year. Court documents state living conditions were inadequate for the children.

All three children were placed in foster care at that time.

Ruby O’Neal says it's normal for kids to play outside in puddles and people need to refocus their attention on praying for the women who hit Zachary and not the CPS investigation.

"Everybody that's making negative comments on my family, you need to take and refocus your energy and pray for this woman," O’Neal said of her sister-in-law.

Family members say they have forgiven the woman who hit Zachary, and it was an unfortunate accident.

CPS officials won't comment on the case, but Denison police confirm that an investigation is underway.

Funeral services for Zachary are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday.

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  • by Anonymous Location: Oklahoma on Jul 27, 2007 at 11:05 AM
    There is a major problem in Oklahoma and Texas where pedestrians have no respect for automobiles. Go to Wal-Mart in Ardmore. Mothers with three or four small children will walk right in front of you, walk slowly as possible, and not even glance back while you're driving down a row. Yes I drive slow and pay attention and alway yeild pedestrians but not all drivers do. What if someone is looking for their cell phone etc. etc. I would never walk right in front of a moving vehicle by myself yet alone with small children. They are almost rude anymore to the drivers, no wave thanks or anything. They can move to the side without walking down the middle. These woman are appear econimically challenged but not always. Cars are not toys and roads are not playgrounds. Both ladies used terrible, terrible judgment and both are responsible.
  • by my opionion Location: ok. on Jul 26, 2007 at 08:08 PM
    Where is the dad?????
  • by Mark Location: Sherman on Jul 26, 2007 at 02:26 PM
    You know what they say about opinions... Everybody has one and they usually stink. Facts, that is what the investigation is based on. That is what will be presented to the County Attorney for any potential prosecution. Does anybody remember the Constitutional right that you are presummed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? Let all the facts surface before you judge and sentence anyone. Thats my $0.02
  • by D Location: Durant on Jul 26, 2007 at 01:58 PM
    Amen Brandy in Texas! Has anyone thought about how this family is going to survive little Zachary's funeral service. I am sure that the mother and the driver of the car would have rather died than having little Zachary die. Accidents happen - some can and should be avoided, but they happen. Don't criticize until you have walked in this mother's shoes. She will live the rest of her life without her child as the driver of the car will live with the fact she killed a child for the rest of her life. They are being punished enough. Pray for the families rather than throwing stones at them.
  • by Brandy Location: Texas on Jul 26, 2007 at 11:37 AM
    I've never had a run in with CPS, but I know three people that have in the past year. They investigated my parents when I fell off a skateboard ramp and busted my face, they called me out of school and everything, I was traumatized! I'm 20 now and My parents are and always have been, the best parents in the world!!! My main concern is, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. What if you are cooking and your child spills boiling hot water on himself before you can blink, do you want us to blame you for not being a good enough parent? What if you were in this mothers shoes, single, trying to get by, living in the projects and now your poor baby gets killed during a birthday party just after you just get to basically meet him again? And then, the people who are supposed to be here for you in this town are talking bs to you? I do not know these people, but I do feel bad that you people are so vain. Shame on what this city has become.
  • by Don Location: Sherman on Jul 26, 2007 at 11:09 AM
    Where is the dad? Does even mom know who dad is? I bet all her kids had different daddies... This is a pathetic cycle.
  • by Anonymous Location: Oklahoma on Jul 26, 2007 at 08:32 AM
    I think that this is an awful accident! Do I think the child should have been playing by the road? No. I think that the person driving the car should have slowed down when she saw there was a child playing in the puddle. But I don not think that people should be on here attacking anyone. As for CPS, they have made many, many mistakes before and this is just another one that they have made. I think that parents make mistkaes all the time unfortunately this mistake took her baby from her forever. KXII is doing their job by reporting what goes on in the town you live in. And if they didn't report anything on it you people would have given them hell on how come they didn't. Could they have approached it a little differently, maybe. But why run KXII down for doing the report. I think everyone should pray for the ones involved and be thankful that you still have your little ones beside you.
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Jul 26, 2007 at 08:26 AM
    Geez sounds like Brandy's had a run in with the CPS.. I'm sorry but if you let your kids play in the streets or close enough to them, then you must pay the consequences. And since she's already had her children taken from her, then of course they are going to step in again and do an investigation. Come on!! Yes this is a sad situation and one that could have been prevented. It is 2 people's fault for this tragedy!
  • by Anonymous on Jul 26, 2007 at 08:23 AM
    May this child rest in peace.
  • by mike Location: denison on Jul 26, 2007 at 03:59 AM
    one more person who should be looked at during this horrible situation is the father of this child. so many children today are being raised without a father to lead and provide for them. and the cycle goes on!
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